Welcome back for the next idea for incorporating healthy habits into your holiday routine! Yesterday was all about keeping active, but today I want to encourage you to also find the time to be still. Today’s tip is to try adding daily meditation to your daily plan.
I am very thankful that throughout my personal training career my clients have given me just as much as I hope I have given them. I had been wanting to incorporate meditation for quite some time, but until given a little nudge by a few clients who have successfully started their own mindfulness journey I had not quite been successful myself. As I briefly touched upon in my intro article to this series, I have finally begun making it a priority to fit into my day. Coincidentally, I have hit 21 days in a row!
I have tried a few different applications, but have found I really enjoy the Headspace application on my cell phone. They have a great introductory series, as well as themed packs if you have a particular focus you would like your meditation to take. I also really appreciate that they have short options that are only a few minutes in case you are short on time. The mood is also very accepting–perfection is never the goal or the expectation.
Why add meditation? There are a number of reasons that I believe it is adds value to your overall health and wellness. Reducing anxiety is one of the top reasons for many people. Stress can have a direct impact on holding onto body fat and also in keeping the body in a chronic state of inflammation. I also think too many of us are not in touch with our own needs and wants, so actually taking time in your own mind can help you reconnect with these. Headspace has a whole series devoted to sport, so it can have a direct impact in finding direction or calmness when you are performing your exercise or sport of choice. Being more mindful in general can also help with your food choices–too many people do not take the time to really think about how food impacts their mood, energy and so many other facets of health. This article has a few other fact-based improvements many people see when meditating regularly.
Personally, I can tell a difference in my own stress response after adding it in to my daily routine for the past three weeks. I cannot say I don’t have any anxiety, but I feel as though I recognize it better and can use the tools I am learning to calm myself more quickly than previously. I also feel like I am more aware of how my actions impact others. I am currently doing a pack on creativity, so I am excited to see how it helps to connect with that side of my brain. I am also trying to be realistic and know that even just a few minutes of time spent in quiet reflection can benefit my day. My schedule does vary from day to day, so I am also forgiving in that I currently cannot take the exact same time every day.
Obviously using an app on my phone has helped me stay accountable and gives me direction in my meditation. However, there are many ways of incorporating it into your day. If you are self-motivated you may be able to just find space on your own without any guidance. Many times at the end of a yoga practice the instructors add a few moments for reflection. And of course there is always taking a little time during your daily prayers if that is part of your spiritual life, as well. Just like with other aspects of health and fitness, you have to find what works for you!
How do you incorporate a bit of quiet reflection into your day? What benefits do you see from taking that time?