Nafessa tries to meditate every day
To most people, I am the very last person you would expect to meditate. I am loud, hyperactive, disorganized and constantly losing focus. But for me, that was all the more reason to give meditation a try. At best, I would learn how to better manage my overactive tendencies and at worst, I would realize meditation, something I have considered trying for years now, is simply not meant for me.
I’m going to be honest– things started out rough. The idea of sitting on a chair for thirty minutes, silent and to myself, sounded painful. Unsurprisingly, it was. It turned into that vicious cycle where the more my mind drifted, the more I tried to consciously focus on my breathing. Ultimately, I passed the thirty minutes stressing out over my inability to stay calm… definitely a major fail.
I quickly realized I needed to ease into things. Using headspace, a downloadable app, I started small and built my stamina up from there. Twenty days later, I’m still not amazing, but I’ve definitely made improvements in my ability to remain calm. The reality is achieving a state of mindfulness is different for everyone.
The other day I spoke with Cherry Hill local Lisa Jacobs, who regularly meditates and practices yoga, hoping to better understand meditation from a different perspective. Through her insight, I realized that meditation is a spectrum. For some, two minutes a day in the car before work is enough and for others an hour long yoga-meditation combination works best. It’s all about finding what works for you through practice and experimentation.
But most of all, I learned the importance of taking time out of your day just to focus on yourself. Taking a breather from life is a not a waste of time. Rather, it is an integral part of staying healthy. Whether you achieve that through meditation or yoga, taking a bath or reading a book, clearing your mind will, in the long run, help you to focus and better understand yourself.
These past twenty days has been an experience to stay the least. I can’t say with certainty that I’ve taken meditation and turned it into a daily part of my regimen, but I do understand the hype behind it. Meditation definitely works and once I was able to get used to it, its benefits were clear. Next time I am feeling particularly stressed or anxious, all I need to remember is to calm down. Sometimes all it takes is a second to breathe.