A soon as I entered a mild state of consciousness and checked into reality, my mind would plunge into full gear, toggling between a series of persistent thoughts and to-dos in preparation of the next 12 hours. My mind would naturally cycle backward and forwards, allowing reflections of the past and inviting dreams of the future, but rarely permit time to embrace the present moment. Mentally preoccupied was the status quo and it was viciously tearing me apart.
I was tired of relying on the replay function. It was time to reconfigure my internal system, close the unnecessary tabs and enjoy the live show for a change. If I had any hope of reducing my propensity to meltdown, I had to retire the go-go-go, do-it-all mentality and recognise that inaction, in certain circumstances, is more productive than action itself.
THE UNTRAINED PUPPY
Despite being celebrated for its stress-relieving powers, meditation was not something I willingly engaged in until I was struck down by a gnarly stress bug, at which point I had no choice but to adhere to my doctor’s “chill out” orders. All this talk about bringing mindfulness into one’s life – I was outright curious to see what sort of impact it would have on my mental state. The first couple of sessions were borderline anxiety-inducing, probably because I was overthinking it in classic Alex fashion. Introducing the “pause button” into my life was challenging, to say the least. I felt like a hungry, untrained puppy being instructed to sit still. I had to exercise restraint and almost numb my reflexes in order to maintain focus.
4 MONTHS LATER
After meditating daily for the past 4 months, using the Smiling Mind app, I am pleased to report that I’ve experienced what I’m calling an internal revolution. I can finally attest to the power of meditation. It is truly astounding how profound an impact this simple daily practice can have on one’s wellbeing and happiness. 10 minutes – that is all I need to initiate a sense of mental peace and begin my day with positive intentions. It has become an intrinsic part of my morning ritual and I consider it as much a necessity as eating breakfast and brushing my teeth. Since embedding this into my routine, I’ve noticed a tremendous difference in the way I respond to stressful situations. On occasions where I would ordinarily be overcome with frustration and anxiety, I’ve been able to tap into a state of calm and exercise patience – something that I’ve always struggled with.
Meditation is without a doubt, a life-changing form of therapy, not to mention that it is practically free. If you’re opposed to therapy, consider this a natural vaccine against burnout and its horrible, horrible friends. Take it from someone who was once skeptical about the benefits preached. Practicing daily mindfulness will breathe new perspective into your life, heighten your sense of awareness and help you remain poised in the most unpleasant circumstances. See what the fuss is all about – put aside your preconceived notions and give it a genuine go. You’ll thank yourself later.