With the day to day stresses that sometimes feel never ending, we’ve become increasingly more interested in finding ways to eliminate the anxiety that can inevitably manifest. The topic seems to be gaining momentum, and people have been increasingly more interested in opening a dialogue about the health of your mind & body.
I started practicing yoga about 12 years ago, and while I love the physical exercise aspect of it, I honestly don’t feel like session is complete without it having a strong mediative aspect — which some classes don’t always bring much attention to. I’ve had several classes that have brought me to tears (in a good way), all because I allow myself to get into a mental exploration of my own self.
Strangely enough, it wasn’t until recently that I started to incorporate this into my life’s routine outside of the studio. While I’ve always been a slightly anxious person, adulthood really seemed to emphasize the constant racing of my mind. It started to impact my sleep habits, diet, exercise, and relationships. In an effort to quiet my head and soften my irritability, I began incorporating some meditative techniques into my daily life, which I’ve found it to be so helpful over the last few months.
Some tools that I’ve personally found to be supportive —
Guided Meditation Apps
Headspace and Calm are both great apps that will slowly bring you into the process of incorporating meditation on a regular basis. I like to use Calm in the evenings once I’ve turned out the lights and gotten into bed — it helps me to escape from the frustrations of the day that are still lingering in my mind, and instead focus on the present. I’m personally a big fan of the Body Scan technique, which focuses on finding areas of tension in your body, and mentally releasing it through the breath.
Mine is simple but has made a huge difference for me — drinking a glass of water, turning the lights dim, burning incense, putting lavender oil on my wrists, and putting a sleep mask over my eyes while I use to my meditation app. Having a calming process that I’m familiar with, and look forward to, allows me to get into the sleepy mindset I need to get a full night of rest.
Self Care & Mindfulness
It’s very easy to forget about ourselves when we’re racing around trying to get everything done over the course of the day, but allowing yourself the time to do small things that make you happy will go a long way in the end. Even things as simple as a shower — closing your eyes and embracing the warm water, giving yourself a mini head massage with the shampoo, using an exfoliating scrub and noticing the tingle on your skin. Be present in the moment where you’re treating yourself, rather than rushing through just another daily shower.
These have become all the rage, and I’m a total fan girl. A couple of weeks ago I had one of the most peaceful Saturday mornings I could imagine — I put some soothing music, made a cup of coffee, watched the snow fall outside, and colored in my new mandala coloring book. It was glorious and I felt so at ease afterward. It made me want to treat my body kindly for the rest of the day, and let me take a couple of hours to have some personal reflection. This is also another great tool to incorporate into your sleep routine for ten minutes before bed.
Have any of you been using meditation as a relaxation tool? If not, I hope I’ve inspired you to give it a spin. Take care, and happy Wednesday 🙂