Improving mind wellness by meditating is crucial to improving your health and quality of life.
Studies show that meditating is proven to help your immune system, boost self-control, increase productivity and much more (click here for a list of studies compiled by Psychology Today).
Toxic thoughts affect everything from your physical health to your lifestyle and day-to-day choices. It plays out in what you eat, how you react to stressful situations, and even the health of your relationships. Building a daily habit of quieting your mind forms new connections in your brain that makes it easier to feel at peace, deal with stress and learn to be kinder to yourself.
Here are a few of my top tips for beginning to improve your mind wellness:
1. Listen to one sound and focus on that one sound in your room.
It can be your AC, a fan, or even your own breath. You could repeat a phrase in your head like a bible verse. Whatever it is, pick something that you’re indifferent about that doesn’t aggravate or upset you. Meditating doesn’t mean having no thoughts. Instead, it means learning to allow your thoughts to pass through your mind instead of chasing them. As a visual, think of an intrusive thought like a notification popping up on your phone. You can notice it’s there but then you swipe it away without a second thought.
2. Make an effort to do it for just 10 minutes every day.
Set your timer, preferably in the morning or before bed when the house is still. If you have kids, you can do it during nap-time. Don’t expect to be successful with meditating at first. We are trained to have busy brains with phones, social media, constant activity and feedback, and instant gratification. It will take time to train your brain to be still.
3. Be kind to yourself as you get started.
It’s hard to quiet your mind at first, but meditating gets easier and easier. As you practice it more, you will start to experience clarity and a sense of peacefulness like everything is going to be ok. Solutions to problems may become apparent. Quieting your mind for ten minutes a day can give you a different perspective as it allows your subconscious mind to come to the forefront. Be aware of if you’re dwelling on any one thought and gently guide your mind back to the sound you chose to focus on (the fan, AC, etc).
4. Track your progress.
You can do this by writing one or two sentences about how you felt about your meditating efforts for the day or thoughts that came to you. Nonjudgmental observation is key here. For example, you might have felt frustrated, distracted, etc. Write that down but do not quit. Be kind and patient with yourself as you train your brain. For now, just keep track of how you feel about your 10 minutes and let it go. Tomorrow is a new day.
5. Free meditation resources.
If listening to one sound in your room doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you might prefer a guided meditation to get started. Thankfully, there are some great free options out there! Try out the River, Beach or Forest meditations by Colette Baron-Reid on Youtube. For another free option, the Meditation Minis podcast by Chel Hamilton is designed to help with anxiety, stress, sleep, and to build confidence.
If you commit to making room in your schedule for training your brain just a few minutes every day and tracking your progress, you can soon start experiencing the many benefits. Click here if you’re interested in mind wellness services offered at Pivotal Pathway (or click here for relaxation services), and leave a comment below to let us know how meditating is going for you or if you have any questions.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8