It was right around the end of March when I decided to try out meditation. I had just moved all of my belongings from my dorm (so sad) and I was starting online school, which was very confusing and stressful. What made this situation more stressful was the fact that my whole family was in the house doing their own online work.
At first, it was fine, but then it got super annoying having everyone moving around and making so much noise. I could not seem to calm down and focus on anything. I really was just craving some alone time, which was not happening. I was on Pinterest one day (shocker), and I came across this article listing the benefits of meditation. This included things like increased optimism, improved sleeping habits, and better communication. All things I needed!! I started to dive deeper and deeper into what meditation is and decided to try it out.
Since I was a beginner, I was wanting to find a more guided meditation because I did not know what I was doing. I also tend to let my thoughts drift away, so I wanted an exercise to help control that. I went on Spotify and found the "21 Day Positive Mindfulness Meditation Challenge." It can be found on the podcast app as well. I was attracted to this because it was only three weeks and it was a challenge, so that made me more determined to complete it. It was written and read Dr. Kendal Maxwell, who is a Clinical Neuropsychologist. Not going to lie, I liked how she was a doctor because I knew it was legit and not some random person telling me to breathe slowly. Also, let me tell you, Dr. Maxwell's voice is so soothing and calm. I really felt like I was in a spa and not just in my room. I decided to do it every morning before I started online school, so it would become a habit. If you do this, make sure you close your door or tell your family not to bother you. This is your time. I always would lay next to my window, because I thought the sunlight would also allow me to focus. I might just be imagining that, but I also felt so cool being one of those people who meditated.
OK, so let me just tell you why I loved this meditation so much.
Each day focused on one word, like empathy, creativity, cozy, healing, etc. Dr. Maxwell would ask you to focus on that word only and imagine times when you felt close to that word. It really allowed me to think about times in my past when I had felt my best. Times where I had truly felt comfortable and complete. Meditating on these words allowed me to let go of the business of the day and just focus on the present moment.
My favorite part was at the beginning — Dr. Maxwell would always say, "This is your time. This is your life. This is your present moment." This was my time. This was my life. This was my present moment. We have the power to create our life however we want. We can choose to focus on the good that the world brings or choose to get wrapped up in the negativity. Meditating every morning gave me the will to start my day strong. I felt like I could complete anything because I took the time to focus on myself. I don't want to spoil the podcast if you choose to do it, but Day 21 focuses on positive affirmations. This was the perfect ending to the challenge because I was able to instill positive words and sayings into my mind.
I knew that positive affirmations were important, but I never knew how much power they held.
Ever since I have completed the challenge, I have continued to meditate when I can. I have learned to not treat it as a chore because then I will not enjoy it. I am trying to find another podcast that is similar to this one. However, if you want to try out meditation, I highly suggest checking out the 21 Day Mindfulness Challenge. Each episode takes around ten minutes! If you try, you will see a difference in your outlook on life and how you view yourself.