What I learnt during my 30 day meditation challenge
I have always wanted to develop a good meditation practice. And by practice, I mean habit. I have tried several times in the past to create a habit of meditating each day, but for some reason it never quite stuck.
Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash
I am a big believer in the benefits of meditation like:
- improved focus and productivity,
- enhanced feelings of calm,
- improved immune system,
- changes your brain for the better – meditation has been shown to grow the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation,
- improves sleep and blood pressure,
- helps manage anxiety
If you are interested in finding out what science is saying about the benefits of meditation, see some articles here, here and here.
I decided that in preparation for becoming fabulous at 40 , I would give myself a 30 day challenge – I would meditate every day for 30 days without fail.
Here’s some lessons I learnt along the way
- I like the habit of meditating first thing in the morning. It helps set me up for the day in a good frame of mind. I feel more positive, calm and able to experience joy when I meditate first thing. Sometimes on the weekends I would miss my early morning session to allow my husband his weekly sleep in (we take turns – he gets on weekend morning and I get the other for a sleep in) and get up to the kids. On these days I would always do a session later in the day, however it never quite had the same effect.
- It is important to make sure you are physically comfortable before you sit down to meditate. On day 5 of my challenge, I had to stop my session, go to the bathroom and then restart my session again. It is almost impossible to concentrate, calm my mind when my bladder is full!
- Meditation isn’t easy for me. It took a good week to get into the swing of being able to quieten my mind during my sessions. I was able to relax my body almost from the first session, but it takes longer for me to slow my mind. As the challenge went on, I got better at it and found it less effort to get into the zone.
- Insight Timer is a fantastic meditation app to use. It is free (and also has extra services you can purchase in the app) and has literally thousands of guided meditations to choose from. There are meditations of varying styles, lengths and for different purposes. There are a wide variety of meditation teachers from a range of backgrounds. There is a timer too, if you feel like just sitting (either in silence or with background music).
- The effects of meditation seem to be cumulative/have a multiplier effect. Some days of my challenge I meditated twice in a day. The feeling of lightness and calm on those days was more than double what I would normally feel from just a morning session.
- I think the ild zen addage is true….
You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes daily. Unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.
- I heard about a different style of meditation while on my 30 day challenge – T M Meditation. It sounds promising – 20 minutes, twice a day, you can do it anywhere you can sit and close your eyes. It promises several scientifically backed benefits, and is apparently very easy to learn and access. You need to learn T M from a certified teacher – I wonder why? I am investigating this as a possible addition to my list of 40 for 40 (40 things I will do for my 40th year). I will keep you posted on that. Have any of you learnt T M? I would love to hear from someone who has – is it worth it?
- My favourite meditation guide is Jason McGrice from The Meditation House in Adelaide. Jason has an album called “Daily Meds” which is fantastic, and also teaches a course on Insight Timer. Another favourite is Alison Potts from Innate Being . I find Alison’s meditations to be really grounding and are great if you are not yet ready for more woo woo things like chakra balancing and white light 😉
- Meditation didn’t fix me! I felt more calm, more patient with the kids, but there were some days where I absolutely still lost my sh*t with them! Maybe 30 days just isn’t enough!
- Meditation is addictive. After about day 18, I began to really look forward to and crave my meditation sessions. Even when I temporarily lost my meditation mojo for a few days and found it a really hard slog, I still wanted to do it, and it bounced back from the distraction pretty quickly.
- I must have enjoyed the challenge, because I am now up to day 78 in a row!
- I am going to continue with my new habit, and hopefully reap the benefits for years to come.
Do you meditate? Would you like to? I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you know me? Did you notice any difference in me over the last 30 days?
Get in touch – comment below or send an email! I always love hearing from you.
Until next time,