If you’re one of the 90+ participants in the Fall Clean Challenge, then you’ll need to exercise 5 minutes of mindfulness a day to get all of your points. An easy way to do that is to try Headspace which is a meditation app for your phone.
I’ve been trying to meditate consistently for years. I’ve gone on retreats, I’ve read books, I’ve worked with coaches, I’ve bought special chairs…but nope, nothing stuck. Then my mother bragged to me one day that after decades of trying to meditate consistently, she had finally done it 30 days in a row. Her secret was Headspace. I’m now 40+ days in and I have to say that it’s the first thing that has worked.
The research is everywhere…meditating is good for you. There have been more than 1500 studies on meditation since the 1930s showing that mediation can help with stress, heart health, focus, anxiety/depression, cancer, sleep, reactivity, hormone levels, etc. The research also concludes that it doesn’t take much. Most of the studies are 10-20 minutes a day over 4-8 weeks. There is also a lot of research out there about the link between meditation and improved athletic performance. Here are a few:
- 10 Reasons Why Every Athlete in the World Should Meditate
- How Meditation Can Make You a Better Athlete
Stress is crucial to our survival. If you’re being chased by a mountain lion, you’re happy that your sympathetic nervous system is there to shut down non-essential systems which are taking up energy – digestion, immune, growth, reproductive, etc. and channel everything into fight or flight. However, too much stress, too regularly, is extremely damaging to our mental and physical well-being. It can lead to stomach ulcers, heart problems, illnesses, anxiety, sleep disorders, lowered libido… the list goes on. It’s important to give our bodies a break and make sure that we are truly spending some time in rest and digest part of our nervous system.
So give it a try. You can get 10 free sessions of Headspace for your phone that you can use over and over, or you can spend $8-$13/month to have unlimited access to their library of different guided meditations.