How you can use meditation to change your life

Posted August 7, 2015 in meditation, being present, stress relief, anxiety, healthy living, health, Grace Space, meditate


Have you ever tried meditating?

If the idea of sitting in silence with your own thoughts seems scary, crazy, weird, etc., hear me out. Meditation is actually an effective treatment for stress, anxiety, worry, relationship issues and more. It can also help you tap into your creativity and intuition, and help you stay more focused on every day tasks.

Studies have shown that meditation actually helps preserve your brain, diminishes a wandering mind, reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, improves concentration and attention and improves mood and well-being (source).

I started meditating about a year ago to help find some balance in my life. I get pretty overwhelmed by life at times. I know I've mentioned this a bazillion times, but I am currently working full-time, taking health coaching clients, trying to grow my health coaching business, teaching fitness classes and blogging. Sometimes I freak out a bit.

My meditation practice has been sporadic and I mostly used guided meditations I found on YouTube (I love BexLife meditations!). But I wanted to learn to meditate in stillness. Which is why I signed up for a meditation class at Avani Day Spa and Yoga Studio in Hastings.

It was definitely a commitment. It's an hour drive to get to Hastings. So each Wednesday for the past three weeks, I've left Kearney at 5 p.m., arrived at Avani at 6 p.m. for a basic yoga class, taken the 7:15 p.m. meditation class and driven the hour back home. I would get home around 9:30 p.m.

At first, I felt stressed about the two hours of driving because I felt like I could have been doing something more productive. But before the first class, I downloaded a book on Audible. I listened to Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein {< --- Amazon affiliate link}.

Those four and a half hours each Wednesday night became really powerful for me.

During the first class, I struggled to stay in the present. This is the reason why I signed up for the meditation class! My mind tends to start going over all of the things I need to do, decisions I need to make and worries I have about the future.

Chelsea took us through a series of short meditations to help bring us back to the present. We focused on our physical selves and our current emotions. Then she had us do a breathing meditation where we breathed in for a count of six, held for three and breathed out for six.

I really struggled to quiet the chatter in my brain. My meditation thoughts were like this:

"What time will I get home?"

"Is 9:30 p.m. too late to eat dinner?"

"What do I have in my refrigerator?"

"My foot hurts. Can you change positions mid-meditation?"

"My schedule is crazy tomorrow. I can't wait for the weekend."

I left feeling a bit frazzled, and like I was a bad meditator.

During the second class, Chelsea asked us to think about something negative we tell ourselves based on past experiences or ideas and think about the way it makes us feel. She then led us through the same short meditation series as the first class, but added a meditation that focused on unconditional love.

It was very synchronistic because Spirit Junkie talks a lot about having limited beliefs about yourself based on past experiences. It must have been a message I needed to hear.

In the second class, I was able to push out more of the chatter in my brain. At times, I forgot I was in a room full of people. I started to feel this amazing sense of calm, and my brain was quiet. It was beautiful and strange.

I actually didn't want to go to the third class. I was really tired. I had overbooked myself with client meetings, events, workouts and more. But I went. I had finished Spirit Junkie, and started listening to Thrive by Arianna Huffington {< --- Amazon affiliate link} during the drive. The first chapter was about how we as a society sacrifice sleep, family and personal happiness to achieve success. So we're all overworked, overwhelmed, stressed, fatigued, sick and unhappy. She also discussed being present. We are multi-taskers, we're always on our phones and always thinking about the future. So we are rarely enjoying the moment we're in. Totally a problem I have!

We did a short five minute meditation to start. I really struggled to push out my own thoughts. My to do list just kept creeping back in. We then did two guided meditations lying down. Toward the end of the first, I felt my thoughts slowly starting to quiet. But I'm pretty sure I dozed off during the second meditation. I don't really remember what happened, which leads me to believe I was conked out. Meditation is not for sleeping ; ) Luckily, I was aware enough to sit up when Chelsea told led us out of the meditation.

During all of our meditations Chelsea talked a lot about positive mantras, pushing out negative thoughts about yourself and others and having unconditional love for yourself. I loved that.

Overall, I think the meditation classes were good for me. It made me realize that I need to make meditation a daily practice, so I can continue to learn how to calm my mind and become more present. I have found that meditation allows me to connect to myself and my intuition. It seems a bit easier to make decisions without over-analyzing them after I spend some time in stillness.

I'm still in the beginning of my journey, but I feel a shift happening and it feels amazing! I've continued my meditation practice at home using Grace Space.

Because I want you to experience this too, I'm sharing something special with you! Get a 10-Day Free Trial to experience Grace Space meditations and get a pair of headphones! 

Go here to get your free trial -- > I know you'll love it!

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