Yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day. Stress sucks. It makes you look like this:
And it makes you feel ever worse.
I wanted to share how I de-stress and specifically talk about meditation.
Guided meditation is my absolute favorite. There are tons of videos available for free on YouTube with all sorts of meditations. There are ones for relaxation, sleep, healing, raising vibrations, etc.
I prefer meditations with background music, and low pitched voices. I know that’s pretty specific, but I’ve been at this for a few years now, and I have learned that high pitched female voices actually raise my anxiety, thus having the opposite effect instead of relaxation.
I have two favorite sources for guided meditations, which I am excited to share with you lovelies.
First is Kelly Howell. She has her own website and her meditations are usually paid. They do appear on YouTube regularly, and they do get pulled down regularly. I ended up buying two because I got tired of my favorites being pulled. The good news is that you can also try it for free through her website.
Second are The Honest Guys. My top five favorite guided meditations is their Blissful Deep Relaxation session. I love the voice and I love the sounds of the sea in the background. The sea is my go to happy place thought, so if you hate the beach this may not be your thing. Their videos are available on YouTube and I’ve never experienced one being pulled down. I think I marked the Blissful meditation as a favorite in 2011 and it’s still online. I still use it too!
So, now that I shared with you my faves you are probably wondering why should I meditate?
It can change your brain. Check out this article from Forbes.com
Here is what the Mayo Clinic says about the benefits of meditation:
Benefits of meditation
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.
And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.
Meditation and emotional well-being
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
Meditation and illness
Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.
With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Anxiety disorders
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sleep problems
Meditation got me though one of my most difficult times in my life, my dad’s brain injury in 2011. It was horrible and stressful and I couldn’t cope. Then I found Kelly Howell, and my world started to change.
I meditate outside on my lunch breaks (weather permitting). I love doing this, actually. I have a park near my work and it’s perfect for a quick session.
There is also no shame in doing it in your car when the weather sucks!
At home before bed or at wake-up. Both are great. One winds me down, and the other starts my day in a pleasant and relaxed way.
Of course, I do not go around meditating 3 times a day. I have, when I needed it. But, normally it’s a one a day thing.
If you are new to this, it may feel super weird in the beginning. You may be anxious about not being able to relax enough or be in the moment enough, that your thoughts will race. They will, and it’s okay. With time, you are learn to let those thoughts go and get in the meditation zone. It can take months of regular practice to get there, so don’t get discouraged.
Thanks for reading!
How do you relax?