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Why You Should be Meditating by Coach Clint Facey
Why You Should be Meditating by Coach Clint Facey
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a Go-Go-Go type of person that can’t sit still for very long. I love it! It makes me feel so alive being energetic and ready to pounce on fun activities or tasks.
However, over time this led me to feel burnt out. I’d be full of beans but then crash at 3pm. I’d pick up again at about 6pm, then stay awake until midnight… I needed to find something to help as I started to learn my adrenals were getting hammered! I was burning out. I used caffeine as some form of band-aid to help energy levels. But we know that doing that makes the problem worse.
So I turned to meditation. But you can imagine, for an undiagnosed ADD guy like me, sitting still and looking inwards was challenging. I knew meditation would help improve my scattered attention, nervous system, focus and concentration. But along the way, I also discovered many other benefits like keeping my digestion running smoothly, maintaining a consistent level of energy during the day and improving my relationships by being an active listener. Safe to say I’m investing more time in this expansive practice.
In the beginning, I had no idea what I was supposed to do, let alone if I was doing it correctly (there are apps that teach you “how”, so no worries there). But I set myself a challenge to meditate every day for a week. After a week I noticed I was less reactive and more proactive. I was able to think more clearly and respond more effectively. I also noticed that my sleep was deeper, more restorative and I was changing my habit! I wanted to go to bed earlier (this was HUGE for me).
But the biggest lesson that I’ve taken away – Meditation puts you into the para-sympathetic system. The ‘rest and digest’ state. This is the place you need to be to heal things. To recover from things. To process things. The best part of being in the para-sympathetic nervous system is the feeling of knowing you are still energetic without the ‘Go-Go-Go’ energy from an adrenaline place. To finally have some real earth grounding energy that doesn’t rely on my mind to motivate me or need caffeine to trigger the start of the day. I like to call this the “calm as a Hindu Cow state”.
When should you Meditate?
I like first thing in the morning as you wake up, or when I get home from work in the mid afternoon. The reason to meditate then and not before bed is so you can receive the benefits while still being awake for the day or evening until sleep! Try it!
Keen to give it a ‘Go’? Here are my top tips for getting started:
• Make a “Meditation Happening” sign for your bedroom door or meditation space. This will minimise interruptions!
• Turn that phone OFF!!!! Or at least on silent or vibrate so there are no interruptions. Trust me. You don’t want a random notification interrupting as you go deeper into the time you’ve committed to.
• Sit upright on a chair or bed. Don’t lie down. Sitting on a pillow can help relax into the 20 minutes you are dedicating to yourself, and against something to support your back. My comfortable space is just a couch.
• Use a guided meditation in the beginning. There are so many fantastic apps, I’ve listed some of my favourites below. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can give it a try on your own – no music, just you and your thoughts.
• Set a timer. When you’re new to meditation, you will be surprised how quick the time goes! And learn to resist the temptation to check how long you’ve got left. After plenty of practice, remove the timer and see where your thoughts take you.
• Remember, it’s a practice, not a perfect! Be kind to yourself, it’s ok not to be great at it. Like everything, you will improve with practice.
Check out this list of some of my favourite meditation and mindfulness apps. If you’re new to meditation, it’s a great place to start.
One Giant Mind
This is the one I’ve most resonated with as it’s consistent with using the same music and teachers. This allows or let’s you know if any big differences in your meditation happens, that it’s not the music or teachers. It’s me. This is a simple easy-to-follow program and you can expand when you are ready. This app really allows you to start slow to become comfortable and then dives deeper into meditation when you are ready.
This app teaches the basics of mindfulness and meditation through cute animations. The free version gives you 10 days worth of guided meditations, each of which can be tailored to suit how much time you can spare. You also get some mini meditations and breathing exercises. A monthly subscription will unlock hours of extra content with topics covering everything from productivity to pain management.
Calm features a range of voice-led meditation exercises and soothing sounds from ocean waves to crackling firewood. A seven-day beginner’s program will get you started, covering basic mindful breathing exercises in short sessions. A subscription features a library of calming music and lulling sleep stories, plus masterclasses for more advanced practitioners.
Aura features short meditations – no longer than 15 minutes each. The sessions change daily and are delivered by mindfulness teachers and therapists, with the ability to save your favourite ones. The paid version will unlock more than 1000 meditations and additional features such as the “daily reflection” field where you can log your feelings and the things you’re grateful.
This app fuses meditation and social networking. In addition to an extensive library of guided meditation, a world map shows you how many people are meditating and where they are. You can also add friends and discuss mindfulness topics in the groups feature. The meditation range from beginner to advanced levels, as well as short courses focused on topics such as breathing and anxiety management. The best part? It’s all free.
Another free app, Smiling Mind makes mindfulness accessible to everyone. With a simple design, its very user-friendly. It offers introductory sessions for beginners through to tailored programs for various ages (kids included).
Here’s to a new path of health that adds enormous value to yourself and how you go about your life!
Thanks for reading!