I first started meditating when I was mentally making the decision to break up with my ex. Realising I needed to do this awful thing to a lovely person caused me so much internal turmoil I didn’t know what to do with myself . I felt like I was living inside all the worries in my head and not moving forward in any way. I started to read this book about mindfulness and it sparked my interest into what is now an important daily ritual for me and has greatly improved my day to day ‘life’ experience and anxiety levels.
Mindfulness. A Practical Guide for Finding Peace in a Frantic World shows you how you can bring mindfulness into your every day life in easy ways. The book is broken down into chapters, each telling a relatable story about common anxieties in life, a bit of science behind it and then it gives you 1 or 2 daily mindful tasks to do that week, such as brushing your teeth and only thinking about brushing your teeth and accompanies that with a short 10 minute guided meditation on a CD which comes with the book. The book is split into 8 chapters, so it is an 8 week course.
I then moved on to experimenting with app meditation, first Headspace and then Calm, both of which I found useful. I now listen to podcasts by Tara Brach which tend to be a bit more spiritually based and I sometimes try and free style meditate by setting a timer for 10 – 15 minutes and trying to just follow my breathe. I try to meditate most mornings but don’t beat myself up if I over sleep (or snooze).
I have definitely gone through phases of not bothering for a few days, or a week, and often I know I just sit there and think about what I have to do that day… (FYI that isn’t meditating apparently). However I haven’t given up the habit, because overall, over time, I have noticed the difference, and there is so much science to back it up.
If you struggle with worrying, depression or anxiety I would say really give it a good go. What is 10 minutes out of your day? If you inforce the habit for a few weeks it soon becomes an easy daily ritual and the effort element of doing it is gone. Try the book and if you don’t see any benefits after 8 weeks then no worries, hit snooze instead.