A 3-step guide to add meditation into your busy schedule
Do you ever find yourself wishing you had more downtime?
These days, there's so much to do that it's hard to give yourself some much-needed alone time. Our brains often hunt for ways to stay busy and stimulated, so it can be easy to forget that it's also *really* important to give yourself a break!
You've probably heard of meditation. But what is it, really? And why should you add it into your (already jam-packed) schedule?
Meditation is the practice of calming your mind to be clear and focused. People meditate to connect to their inner self, become more aware of the world around them and train their brain to be attentive and focused. It requires work, because clearing your mind is *not* easy!
Though it's challenging, meditation has a lot of benefits. Johns Hopkins Health published an article explaining these benefits, including physical (strength, flexibility, and balance), mental and emotional (more energy, happier mood, stress management).
Many busy gals will agree that meditation is *definitely* worth adding to their schedules! And if you're new to meditation, don't worry! It's simple to incorporate into your everyday activities. For example, you could...
Spending time outdoors will fill your senses. Though it might be tempting to pop in your earbuds (we have "drivers license" on repeat too!) you need to *dis*connect in order to *re*connect with yourself. There are many ways you can fit this into your busy schedule: Instead of taking your big bro up on his offer to drive you to school, pull out your bike instead. And when your BFF suggests another Netflix party when class ends early, suggest a walk instead (and nobody will judge if your destination is Starbucks—it's important to treat yourself). Breathing deeply and focusing on the beautiful scene around you will naturally slow down your thoughts.
Go on "Do not Disturb" mode
All those notifications from Snapchat and Instagram can *seriously* be a distraction when you're trying to create a calm space for your meditation moments. Most of the time, we give in to the distraction and stop doing whatever it was we were doing in the first place—even if it was fun or relaxing! Carve out some time in your day to mute your phone. Then find a quiet place in your house, close your eyes and breathe, baby, breathe!
Rest your brain before bed
After a long day, there's nothing more temping than crawling into bed and conking out. However, an overstimulated brain will often stay awake, even if your eyes are closed. To prevent a twired body (tired + wired = bad combo) take some time to do whatever relaxes you: a hot bath, listening to calming music or even just drinking a mug of hot milk. Let your mind know it's time to wind down, and you'll find that rapid fire thoughts are quieted for the time being. Reflect on your day: Identify different moods you felt, ask yourself questions or just give yourself a mental hug.
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