Running a small business, having a family and dealing with the daily stressors of life is sometimes a little much for even the strongest people to handle. There has to be a break, a way to relax and just “do nothing” for a little bit. A way to “chill.” I know this because I needed such a thing starting a few years back. It turns out that mindfulness meditation, while certainly not a cure-all, can be very beneficial to anyone whose mind is racing more than they’d like it to, is more stressed than they’d like to be, or is more pre-occupied with “nonsense” than they should be.
While I’m by no means an expert on the subject, I have been practicing mindfulness meditation for more than three years and have reaped some tangible benefits. Still have a long way to go, but mindfulness meditation has allowed me to be a bit more relaxed and happy. I highly recommend it.
Just what is mindfulness mediation you ask? Well, without taking text from any site or book, here’s what it is to me. It’s taking time each day to sit and be at peace with the thought of nothing – or simply trying to focus on exactly what you’re doing at that moment – rather than the 50 other things going. It’s taking some moments to focus on your breath and how your body feels – nothing more and nothing less – thus ignoring or not allowing room for the daily stressors to come in and ruin your “moments.” Eventually, the hope is that one will be able to “live in the moment” – moment to moment – rather than thinking of what could happen or might happen next. It’s a process, but a good one that’s worth it.
Since I’m not an expert on this, just a guy who tries to practice it with moderate success, let me refer anyone interested to some great books and sites that can make life even a little better and less stressful for you utilizing this form of meditation:
HEADSPACE APP: The gold standard as far as I know (and I don’t know that much), it’s an easy-to-use app created by a guy named Andy who used to be a Buddhist Monk. He’s super relatable, soothing and makes learning his techniques easy. It’s also pretty inexpensive.
MINDFULNESS FOR BEGINNERS: Written by the godfather of mindfulness mediation, John Kabat Zinn, it’s an easy read (or listen if you get the audio book) and will explain the concepts and techniques behind this form of meditation.
10% HAPPIER: Based on true-life experiences from Dan Harris, a television news personality, his books and his site talk about how he “reduced stress” without losing his edge. It’s very relateable for anyone who has dealt with excessive stress.
Give one of these a shot – you’ve got nothing to lose except some unneeded worry or stress.