**Disclaimer: These are MY experiences, and may not work the same for you. Please consult with a physician before trying anything.***
When I first started meditating, or even thought about it, I was extremely skeptical.
My OT suggested Headspace app to me 4 months after my accident. I tried it out and seemed to feel more relaxed when I sat down for 10 minutes and calmed my brain. I bought a 1 year subscription so I could try out some different themes (they had some session for anxiety, stress, emotional, etc.) It didn't go as well as I'd hoped.
I tried for a year, I really did. But I started to get more energy and had a really hard time sitting down. I'd try to meditate maybe once a week, and would stop the session half way because I couldn't focus.
These were the best pieces of advice I was ever given on starting a meditation journey:
- Don't be so hard on yourself - you're supposed to have thoughts running through your mind, the whole point of meditation is to learn how to take a break from them.
- Practise consistently - putting meditation into your routine is the only way you'll stick to it.
When I started meditating seriously, it was right after my first seizure. I was beyond stressed and exhausted, I decided now is the time I'll get serious about it. I needed to manage my stress. I browsed the app store, and decided on Calm, honestly: because I liked the way it looked.
The best thing I could've ever done was to meditate every day for 7 days straight. You can build it into your routine morning or night and do it at the same time every day. For me, I built it into my bedtime routine and meditated at the same time every night before bed for 14 days straight. This got me into the routine and started to vaguely notice some benefits.
Now that my routine is set, I realized meditating every day for a week is hard when you're busy. Some nights (or days) you just can't find the time. Be easy on yourself, you're allowed to give yourself days off. Try not to let it go too long, or you start to lose the benefits.
The benefits that I've noticed since I started meditating are:
- More patient.
- Less stressed.
- A different perspective on stressful situations.
- Allowing myself to stop during the day and take breaks.
- Taking moments to just breathe.
- Noticing when I'm tensing areas of my body (This was huge, I didn't realized how much I did this.)
Give yourself some time if you don't start noticing the benefits right away. I've been meditating constantly for 7 months, and I'm still starting to notice new benefits come around. I'm also still horrible at it, sometimes I can't focus the entire session, but some days are better than others and that's ok.
Give it a try! Do it at least 7 days straight before you decide if you like it or not.