28 days of me

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Day 20

Time-Poor Meditating

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Show today's brain activity
Alpha 75%
Waves which occur when relaxed and calm
Beta 25%
Waves which occur when, for example, actively thinking or problem-solving
Gamma 0%
Waves which occur when involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information

Not surprisingly, the hardest time to meditate is when life is super busy. Once I actually sit down, close my eyes and start, the stress begins to dissolve. But right up until that point, the meditation is just another thing on my already hefty to-do list that I need to tick off.

On these really busy days I don’t manage to reach the same level of ‘Zen’ that I have been able to on much quieter days, but I am still very much a beginner and I am hoping this will come with practice.

blog-getting-to-know-stress-58 (1)

Image credit: headspace.com

When we are busy the first things that drop off are the stuff we need the most – exercise / eating healthy / doing yoga / getting enough sleep. We all know it, but we still do it.

I am really going to try and keep up the daily meditations after this 28 days is complete, and especially in busy times. I may be able to convince myself that I don’t have time for the gym, but lets get a bit real here – a 10 minute meditation is actually nothing – I probably spend at least that much time stressing or trying to solve something in my head anyhow!

The team at Mindful in May have written an article on this topic. They also share tips / steps to finding greater emotional freedom through mindfulness, which is especially relevant when you are stressed and busy:

1. Notice when you are having a thought that is negative or creating emotional discomfort.
2. Ask yourself, is this thought moving me towards or away from what I value and how I want to be living?
3. If you discover the thought is moving you away from who you want to be and how you want to live in the world, then simply let the thought go and unhook from the toxic radio station in your mind that is sending you unhelpful messages. Realise that this thought, is just a thought and not an authority.
4. Take a moment to bring compassion to yourself as you recognise and uncover the underlying emotion that is fuelling these negative, unhelpful thought streams.
5. Remind yourself that the nature of the mind is to think. It is constantly producing thoughts, some of which are creative and inspired and others which are holding you captive and bringing you down. Realise that you don’t have to believe every thought that comes into your mind. Mindfulness, that capacity to be aware of what is happening from moment to moment, helps you guard your own mind, carefully choosing which thoughts you are letting influence your choices and life.

List credit: Mindful in May

And if you are really, really time poor, here are 5 mini meditations from MindBodyGreen you can do in 1 minute.

Today’s Meditation

15 minutes 1 Giant Mind

Today’s Brainwave Activity

150520 Day 20 Graph

Blue = Alpha waves, 75% (Day 1 was 43%) — this is the one I’m trying to increase.
Yellow = Beta waves, 25% (Day 1 was 38%)
Pink = Gamma waves, 0% (Day 1 was 19%)

Photo credit: Ariana Escobar