I Finally Tried Meditation And Yes, It Does Work
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I Finally Tried Meditation, And Even Though I'm 'Bad' At It, It Still Really Works

You don't have to be "good" at something to have it be helpful.

4439
I Finally Tried Meditation, And Even Though I'm 'Bad' At It, It Still Really Works

I have been reading about the wonders of meditation for years. Sure, the idea of it all sounded great — sitting in quiet and letting your mind rest before starting your day (or ending your day, or taking a break in your day — whatever) was sure to be helpful. Yet the idea of sitting still and trying not to think for any amount of time was daunting.

Yesterday, I finally caved. After months of pandemic-induced stress and too many corners of my to-do list to get lost in, I needed to forcibly sit in silence, even though I was sure I'd be "bad at it." I signed up for a morning Zoom meditation with Lindsey Gaterman, wrote the event on my calendar, and accepted inevitable defeat.

Thankfully, I've known Lindsey for years, so taking her class was a very natural thing to do. I'd been in workshops with her before where some meditation exercises took place, so I couldn't call myself a total rookie to the concept even though I've never meditated by myself before.

After logging into the call and exchanging "good mornings" with the class, Lindsey had us all find a comfortable seat, place our hands on our legs and our feet on the ground, and close our eyes. She reminded us to be aware of how our body was positioned, to feel gravity pulling our limbs down, and to sit up straight. She asked us to release any stressors from our body and mind, creating free space in our mind.

That's where she lost me.

My ability to not think of anything — to have a "clear mind" is at an all-time low these days.

Do you see what's going on in the world? There is too much to think about. My brain is certain to be scattered in 87 directions no matter how zen I am in the moment. A clear mind? Was she kidding?

She continued to ask us to not be frustrated by thoughts that lingered behind but to acknowledge them. To "see them" and move on. This is where the practice continued for the next 15 minutes. Getting distracted, being brought back to focusing on my breathing. Getting annoyed at my inability to chill out, being brought back to focusing on my breathing. Thinking about my grocery list, being brought back to focusing on my breathing.

By the end of the class, I felt refreshed, energized, and ready to begin my day. This shocked me — I had just sat through 20 minutes of thought after thought, completely failing at what I assumed meditation to be. That experience did NOT match the zen graphics I had seen on Pinterest! But as Lindsey gave us a quick run-down of future classes and opportunities, she mentioned how she was proud of us for showing up.

She said, "that is the only way you fail — not showing up to participate."

Even my hot mess attempt to meditate did benefit my mind, body, and day. I did see a difference after a simple 20 minutes of quiet — I didn't have to perfect not thinking of anything to create a helpful experience for myself. Like many things in the wellness world, I just had to show up.

Will I meditate again? Absolutely. Will I be distracted again? Of course. While I cannot always control the weight of the world on my shoulders, I can actively choose to create a space for myself to breathe and prioritize my mental wellbeing. You can too! Even if you're "bad" at meditation, or whatever else you're attempting to do in order to give yourself room to breathe, you're showing up and that's what really matters.

Lindsey Gaterman is a former Odyssey employee.

Report this Content
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

66815

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey Template: 25 Questions For My State's Elected Officials

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn't settle for less."

7403

Whether you're interested in how democracy works, how stop signs get installed, or anything in between, this is your opportunity to ask questions. This is your opportunity to show current and future members of your community what, in your opinion, is most important as your town, city, and state are trying to put the best, most effective practices forward.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

26925

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

190015

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Who is ready to fa-la-lall in love with holiday-themed sex toys that will make you jingle all the way? If you're biting your lip and your legs are quivering with excitement, hold on to Santa's sleigh reins because there are so many ways to celebrate the season.

Festive sex toys are here to bring you some holiday cheer. From candy cane flavored everything to bright red bows, there is fun for everyone. Feel free to treat yourself or add these 15 festive sex toys to your wish list.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

113879

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

7 Reasons 'Hubie Halloween' Is A Must-Watch Halloween Film For October Movie Nights

Just knowing it's an Adam Sandler movie, you can assume it's funny but very ridiculous.

763
Netflix

"Hubie Halloween" was just released on October 7. It follows Hubie Dubois in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween. He patrols the town to make sure people are safe. He's the kindest and caring person in the town and also the most bullied.

This poor man is scared of everything. He screams when he sees scary decorations and when people prank him. Definitely a laugh, but when I watched it, I felt bad for him. The one person that pulled at my heartstrings is Violet Valentine, a woman he had a crush on since high school. She's super nice to him and stands up for him when she can. It was great seeing someone, other than his grandma, on Hubie's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

While this is my first ever presidential election, I have voted before in others, including at least one other "off" year election. I can honestly say that one of the things that made voting for the first time interesting was that I personally don't really identify myself with either party completely.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

7 Ways You Can Volunteer Virtually In The Middle Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Use that anxious energy from dreading the rest of 2020, and put it towards volunteering

341

Life has shifted from face-to-face to face-to-screen-to-face this past year. There's no need, though, to wait out the pandemic to make a difference from home. Rather than spending the unexpected free time the rest of this year dreading each day, use that same energy towards volunteering from the comfort of your bed or couch or patio.

Here are seven ways you can volunteer safely and virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Hilarious Netflix Specials To Binge If You Need A Laugh In 2020

Netflix specials are single-handedly keeping my spirits high.

293
Netflix

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have re-watched these comedy specials over the course of the last seven months.

What I can tell you is how absolutely great these comedians are. They bring me joy when I am sad, bored, or wanting to tune into something while I work on school or my virtual job.

Keep Reading... Show less
Netflix

"Emily in Paris" is one of the newest Netflix original series and it began streaming on the platform on October 2.

I knew this was going right to the top of my watch list because I have a serious girl crush on Lily Collins, it's from the creator of "Sex and the City", and the plot feeds directly into my "Mamma Mia" fantasy of just hopping on a plane and killing it in a whole new country. Not going to lie, the series has its slightly cringe-y moments, but that honestly makes me love it even more.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

10 Songs We All Need To Add To Our Fall Roadtrip Playlist

This songs are guaranteed to make you feel like the main character this fall.

369
Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

One of the best feelings is driving with the windows down. Listening to the right song makes that experience even better. If you want to feel like the main character in your own teen movie, listen to these feel-good classic songs right away.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments