I started meditating 10 days ago. I mean, I really started meditating. Over the years, I did relaxation breathing at the end of the occasional yoga class, or visualizations in a group before going on stage for theater, just to calm my nerves, but I had never really done full-fledged meditation. I teach about it in my psychology classes, but the main point I make is that meditation is not just innate. You must be taught. Self-taught is fine, but the process is not just sitting in silence as many would believe. It is a process that entails gaining some control over thoughts, feelings, and being present.
Mindfulness training, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, as is offered on apps like Headspace, have been proven effective in reducing symptoms for conditions such as anxiety, depression, and chronic pain (Headspace, 2017). Being aware is always the first step in being able to change a behavior. For me, the idea of having the ability to stay calm in stressful moments was motivation enough to begin a program. Staying in the moment and taking those fleeting thoughts that may interject themselves when I am meditating and pushing myself back to my focal point such as my breathing has been helpful. I feel calmer. I feel more in control of my emotions and thoughts.
I have gone from 10 minutes for the first 8 days, to 15 minutes. I will continue on this journey and log back in to update you on my progression.
Headspace.com (2017). Our approach. Retrieved June 21, 2017, from https://www.headspace.com/sciencehttps