We know everything in 2022 is loud, bright, and fast — sometimes you just need a pause to recenter yourself. Between work, the 24-hour news cycle, and the constant barrage of information coming from every social media site, there has never been a time in history when we are more mentally inundated and exhausted. Yet, every day we ignore the signs of stress on our minds and bodies. Physical symptoms can include aches and pains, headaches, weight gain, and high blood pressure, and psychological signs can include depression, anxiety, and burnout.
If on your days off, you’re finding the lack of will to do anything other than relaxing on your couch and binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix, you may be burning your proverbial candle at both ends. Please know that you are not alone. You are suffering from the burnout culture we are all subjected to, and luckily, you can implement small changes to help alleviate these pressures. Chief amongst these options is meditation: it does not require expensive classes. In fact, it can easily be free. It requires no equipment to start, there’s no wrong way to do it, and best of all, it’s a thing you can do for yourself right now.
Benefits to Meditation
All Aboard the Self-Awareness Train
Meditation is all about living in the moment inside your body, quieting the loud thoughts that happen throughout the day, and just being present with yourself. Meditation is training your brain to quiet itself to heighten your awareness of self. This journey will likely show you trends where you are toxic to yourself and help affirm the best parts of you. A study published in 2019 by the National Academy of Sciences showed that a group of over 150 people who incorporated meditation into their daily routine were able to reduce feelings of isolation and increase their creative problem solving within two weeks.
Take Me to Dreamland
Almost no one seems to get enough sleep as we become adults. There just simply isn’t enough time in the day! Between our work obligations, hobbies, social life, and family schedules, our nighttime routines get pushed later and later – and that’s assuming you aren’t one of the nearly 70 million Americans plagued with insomnia. Studies have repeatedly shown that the restfulness that comes from quieting your mind can aid in sounder and deeper sleep.
Full Court Press to Less Stress
We know that our bodies produce cortisol as a reaction to perceived stressors in our lives. This hormone temporarily increases adrenaline, elevates blood pressure, and boosts energy. It’s why many of us work so well under that final deadline crunch, and our body is facilitating an environment to force us to survive and focus. However, we no longer live lives that balance that cortisol. The abundance of it also leads to obesity, muscle weakness, and an increase in diabetes. Many of the stressors in our lives are not feasible to remove. We can’t just quit our jobs because the day-to-day rigamarole is stressful. However, an eight-week study of individuals who incorporated meditation showed significant decreases in inflammation tissue and other stress-related symptoms. Additionally, high amounts of stress and cortisol are known to trigger and exacerbate anxiety. The mindfulness and soothing effects of meditation are also shown to reduce anxiety.
CBD and Meditation
It is certainly possible to see the benefits of both meditation and CBD without pairing them. However, they also pair nicely with one another and want to be friends. Both promote a sense of balance and well-being. We know that the science of CBD is still happening, and new studies are being conducted all the time. What matters here is how you feel when you take CBD. Does it help stabilize your homeostasis? Do you feel like a better version of yourself? If so, why not blend the benefits you feel when you take CBD and pair them with a new meditation practice. Nobody does enough just for them, and 10 – 20 minutes a day for meditation can be just the routine you need to be paired with your favorite CBD products. Let the quiet and calm you feel from your CBD help with the peace and mindfulness of meditation.
A Quick and Easy How-To Guide to Meditation
Find a place in your house and a position that you are most comfortable. Do you have a cozy chair? Do you want to lay on a cool floor on a yoga mat? Find a location that makes you feel calm and quiet and assume whatever position would aid you in your relaxation journey.
Beginnings sometimes try to bite off more than they can chew and dedicate themselves to longer than they have or are capable of completing. Set yourself up for success and start with five to 10 minutes. Studies have shown that meditation, when performed correctly, can have similar restorative benefits to a nap, and 10 – 20 minute naps have displayed highly curative benefits to the exhausted brain. So, start yourself at a small segment of time and know that you will still see those advantages.
Be present in your body and feel your breath
Close your eyes and focus on nothing but the process of breathing in and out.
Recenter when your mind wanders
It is almost a guarantee that your mind is going to wander from the task at hand. It will not feel normal or natural for your mind to be silent while you feel nothing but your own breathing. Be kind to yourself. Your mind will wander more as you begin your practice, and when you find it happening, recognize it, and then recenter yourself with your breath and continue. The key here is not to get frustrated with yourself. We split our minds with many simultaneous tasks all day long, so you are not failing when your mind starts wandering. It’s called a practice for a reason. It will take patience and some training to become proficient.
Close every session with gratitude and kindness
When your time is up, open your eyes, take a couple moments to come back to yourself and notice your environment and ambient sounds. Allow yourself to become consciously aware of your body and give your mind permission to re-enter the world and feel your thoughts and emotions. Congratulations, you have successfully completed the meditation, and no matter what you experienced, there was no wrong way to do it.