When I was in grade 6 one of my best friends, Amanda, and I had a killer science fair project. The title was ‘Does microwaving kill bacteria?’. We killed it with the petri dishes and I think we took home a $75 prize (which was a pretty decent prize back in 1990 for a couple of elementary school girls)……. but I digress. I mention this because someone in the high school category did a science fair project that was entitled ‘Practice What you Preach’ and though I’m not entirely sure the specifics, I think they interviewed parents to see how many actually followed the rules and guidelines they set for their children. It’s always stuck with me and now today as a physician and mom I feel like it’s time for me to check in and make a commitment to wellness and to do more of what I spend my days coaching other people to do. And the first thing on my list is meditation.
I think that meditation is becoming more and more mainstream, which is awesome. And we’ve all heard it’s good for you, but I think until you know HOW it will help you and you understand that there is science behind it you may be a bit reluctant and slow to get on board. There is a ton of information out there, but sometimes it’s hard to weed through and sort out the legit from the hocus pocus. And on top of that meditation is HARD, I don’t know about you but my mind is a busy place.
So where to start? If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of meditation (which include decreased stress, decreased depression, decreased anxiety, reduced pain and improved sleep and an increased quality of life) this is a great article to check out. Not only is it easy to read, but it links to a ton of medical literature describing the evidence behind it – and if you’ve read my previous post you’ll know I love evidence based medicine! Another good read here and here if you’re still not convinced.
And if you are like I was, and you know the benefits but haven’t quite managed to find the time to fit it into your already crazy day, fear not! There are some great apps out there that require just minutes a day to get started! I’m still in the beginning stages and the apps I’ve been enjoying are Headspace (they have a great Basics/Learn how to meditate series you can use free of charge), Stop, Breathe & Think (which allows you to check in with how you’re feeling physically, mentally and emotionally and then suggests a few different short guided meditations based on your check in), and Insight Timer which offers numerous courses (I’m doing ‘Learn How to meditate in Seven Days), guided meditations and also for the more seasoned practitioner allows you to set your preferred interval time, ending bell sound and ambient noise. A few other’s I’ve have heard good things about but have yet to check out include Whil, Calm, and Buddifhy. I actually just downloaded Buddifhy today and am stoked to check it out as it’s focus is to bring a modern edge to meditation and mindfulness and has both solo and guided meditations for chaotic, busy lives (hello! me! me!).
Hopefully this post has motivated you guys to take the plunge and try to make meditation a part of your daily routine! So with that, choose an app and get your meditation om…….