Maybe your life is somewhat like mine? You know when you wake up that you have more items on your to-do list than could ever get done in one day. The idea of adding one more item to the list, even if it’s meant to improve your well-being, is overwhelming.
That’s where I was with meditation in the past. I knew that meditating could make us more focused, improve our decision-making and enhance productivity, so I tried. I bought books and CDs and watched videos. My efforts would last a week or two and then the to-do list would take priority.
Last year, though, I had an aha moment. I realized I am super-productive when I have structure and a clear vision – I am amazed at what I can accomplish! I decided to apply that insight to meditation.
I read about the app “Stop, Breathe & Think” (www.stopbreathethink.org) in a magazine and downloaded it to see if that would make a difference. It did! The app has this wonderful pop-up reminder every morning, which was just what I needed, and tracks your minutes, hours and days in a row of meditating. There’s an optional feature that lets you identify your feelings and then offers a list of meditations to improve your day. The free meditations are less than seven minutes long and if you need a shorter one, you can use the meditation timer to set your own length. Before long, using this app became a habit and I could feel the benefits of having a regular meditation practice.
I offered this app as a follow-up resource in my Career ReCharge training class and had individuals constantly asking me what other meditation apps I liked. In the last three months, I’ve explored both Headspace (www.headspace.com) and Calm (www.calm.com). Although there are similarities, each is unique. I am now hooked on Calm.com. (I enjoyed Headspace too, but decided subscribing to more than one app was going to overwhelm me.) Calm sends a new meditation every day. This is key for me because I don’t get bored. In addition, every day the app has a different theme and I really enjoy the daily inspirational and unique nuggets of wisdom. With the help of the app, I have been able to make meditating 10 minutes a day a priority.
I hope you won’t be like me and take years to think about it before making meditation a habit. After taking Google’s Search Inside Yourself class and learning about the research supporting the benefits of meditation, I am even more a believer!
I would love to hear if you have a meditation practice and what your strategies are for success. Namaste!