Day 8 of the #SelfCareShare is dedicated to meditation.
Meditation is one of those things that can be an intimidating concept to a newcomer, but it's actually quite simple. Whereas a lot of people have the misconception that meditation involves thinking about nothing, it's actually based on the idea of just being aware of your thoughts and environment.
There are lots of phenomenal resources out there that explain and teach meditation. We really love Headspace, an app that introduces meditation in 10 minutes per day for 10 days. They break their concepts down with short, aesthetically pleasing animations and do a wonderful job of explaining the idea of meditation to the Average Joe. They also have lots of great information about the science behind meditation and its benefits on their website.
We also wanted to share this awesome video with you from the Huffington Post where a Buddhist master explains the idea of meditation in an entertaining and simple way.
Of course, everyone will meditate a little differently.
We all have little idiosyncrasies that will influence what works best for us, and we should pay attention to and exemplify those techniques. Today, we're sharing the way contributors Tre Demyan and Sam Raney think about meditation below.
Set a time for 5 minutes. Focus on your breath. If a thought enters your mind, acknowledge that you have thought it, then refocus on your breath.
Share a picture of your favorite place to meditate on social media with #SelfCareShare for a chance to win the final giveaway basket!
Tre Demyan: Don't fight it, invite it.
As someone diagnosed with ADHD, the hardest thing to do is clear my mind. Thoughts constantly creep up, anxieties from the day or tomorrow, or just distractions like noise or movement. I counter this by, instead of trying to empty my ever churning mind, I listen to every thought clearly. Understand the thought and then push it to the side, one by one, until reaching a state of peace. If a thought creeps back up, “Oh I need to prepare vegetables for dinner,” shut it down with a simple sentence: “Not now, I'll deal with that later.” Acknowledge it and dismiss it. This state of mind is easier to maintain and can to lead to deeper levels of meditation, higher thinking, and even snoozing.
When the thoughts leave and you are left with darkness, put yourself in the center of the darkness and listen to your breath. This is the soundtrack to inner peace.
Cannabis use is particularly helpful when meditating in this manner.
Instead of trying to get your mind to settle down, let your thoughts flow, take the time to acknowledge them, and then let them pass from consciousness.
Cannabis can also be used as sort of a creative lubricant when combined with meditation.
Keeping a journal nearby can be an effective way of keeping track of useful thoughts that drift into your mind. This way, if you come up with something incredible during your musings, you can jot it down, and push it out of your consciousness. This almost certainly will happen; it's similar to your brain stimulating itself with dreams as you rest. Just jot it down, take a hit, and let yourself drift back into the peace.
Sam Raney: I like to look at my "zone-outs" as my form of meditation.
I have a pretty easy going and anxiety-free mind, so I have some periods where I'm not thinking about much and let my mind wander free. It creates an empty space in my head, left open to absorb what's going on around me and any new things that come my way. It also leaves room to process what needs to be processed and to get a better understanding of whatever problems I might be having.
Meditating can mean a lot of things, but for me it just means being alone with your brain and enlightening your thoughts through relaxation.
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