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Life can quickly become overwhelming on any given day. The quickest way to rebound and redirect is through meditation. Many people combine meditation with spirituality. However, I am talking about the tool anyone, regardless of their spiritual affiliation, can use to quiet their brain. A means to become mindful in the present moment, and strengthen our ability to focus. Many find the spiritual components are another benefit of meditation. Regardless of what brings you to meditation, it is a necessary tool beyond your comfort zone on the road to your extraordinary life.
There are two main types of meditation we will focus on here. The first is mindfulness and the second is concentration two areas in which all busy moms could use extra help. What is mindfulness? According to Wikipedia, it is the process of bringing your mind into the present moment. I spend my days looking ahead to the next appointment on my schedule or item on my to-do list. During the summer holiday, it was easier to attain mindfulness, gardening, hiking, or being out in nature. Now the beginning of the school year is upon us, and our ability to focus is under siege. Our kids have school, extracurricular activities, homework, and childhood, and we have to coordinate it all plus running a household, a marriage, and our needs. Our abilities to focus and reduce stress are essential. The ability to pause and think before we act is extraordinary.
If like me, you have no previous experience meditating; taking a class or using a meditation app are an excellent place to start. I will try five meditation apps Calm, Headspace, Insight, Aura, Stop, Breathe, Think, 10% Happier, and Mindfulness. I initially found them on a list of the top free meditation apps, but none of them are free. Stop, Breathe, Think, and Headspace both have basic free options, but the rest are seven day free trials only. They ranged in price from $45 – $100 annually to access the full app features. I will take the next seven days to try each of these apps throughout the day. I will log my state before and after meditation, noticeable effects, and compare their effectiveness.
There are many sub-types of meditation, including Zen, Mindfulness, Loving-kindness, Compassion, Appreciative Joy, Transcendental, Equanimity, Gratitude, and Breath. We will concentrate on mindfulness, concentration, and breath meditation. Meditation has been known to help a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, PTSD, chronic pain, improve focus & memory, lower blood pressure, and increase energy. I have been meditating for three days, and I can already identify daily stress knots developing inside my body. I release them by doing stretches. Knotted muscles is a significant issue for me because typically my body becomes so knotted up that I have to go to Physical Therapy annually to resolve it. In only three days, meditation is already helping with my chronic pain and stress management.
Seven days from now, I will have a complete review of the meditation apps listed above. You have a list of the benefits achieved through meditation. The only thing left is to try it for yourself. Additional benefits from meditation include helping you to remain calm in stressful situations and strengthening your ability to be proactive instead of reactive. Meditation is an essential tool in the quest to find your extraordinary self.
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