The second day of the 30 Day Minimalist Challenge asks for you to meditate for 15 minutes. I’ve practiced meditation before, a few times when I’ve been overly overwhelmed and stressed about various aspects of my life. Right now I’m not particularly stressed about anything (I finally finished a seven day work week so I’ve been celebrating by watching Parks and Rec in bed all day.) I was curious to see how meditation would work when I was already rather calm for the day, and I think the result was rather interesting.
My Experience: I downloaded an app on my phone called “Take a Break.” I didn’t read much into it but saw that it had numerous rave reviews. I noticed there were two categories: Work Break (7 minutes), and Stress Relief (13 minutes). Since the challenge asked for 15 minutes of meditation, I chose the stress relief option with rain as my background noise.
The session starts with a woman with a soothing voice, coaxing you to allow yourself to feel any of the stress and pressures you might be facing in your life. Since I wasn’t currently stressed, this actually made me try and find some things that might make me stressed. The point of the exercise was to allow yourself to feel those emotions, but learn to not act on them. Just take a moment to embrace the feelings and eventually let them go. It had me focus on my breathing, as well as allow any wandering thoughts that might have floated in and out of my mind. At the end of the program, the voice told me to take my time to slowly end the meditation session, whenever I felt ready.
What I Learned: This was honestly a strange mental journey for me. Since I wasn’t stressed, I started thinking about stressful situations when the woman was asking me to feel where the pressures of stress affect me. This at first started giving me some sort of anxiety, but the more I focused on my breathing, the calmer I felt. I started off the meditation session sitting up with my legs crossed, but then about halfway through decided to finish while laying on my back with my palms up at my side. I felt much more comfortable in this position, and eventually relaxed and fell into a much more peaceful state of mind.
I’ve always enjoyed meditation. Some people have teased me about it, but it’s honestly a very healthy way to calm your mind and and clear your thoughts to help you make positive decisions for the next step of something that might be bothering you or causing stress. After I meditated I felt much more motivated to be productive for the rest of my night. I definitely recommend meditation to anyone interested!