Over the last year I have found myself getting sick more often than what I would consider to be normal for me.
I’ve been living in England for the past few years and I work with children, so the odd sniffle is fairly unavoidable. Lately however, I’ve been getting knocked down for a couple of weeks at a time.
I would consider myself to be a fairly healthy person. I have an active job, I enjoy exercising and I eat well most of the time. Which makes it all the more frustrating, as being sick completely disrupts my usual routine, leaving me feeling pretty useless and down in the dumps.
The one thing that seems to be a common denominator is stress. I am aware that the link between stress and general well-being is virtually common knowledge. But knowing that it’s not good for you to be stressed, doesn’t necessarily (read: definitely doesn’t) stop me from feeling stressed.
I’ve always been a worrier. Not in a way that stopped me from doing things and actually a better way to put it is that I am an incessant problem solver. It makes me a pro-active person but it also means I get really worked up about problems that are not ready to be solved. It’s something I’ve known about myself for a long time but I guess I thought that self-awareness was a cure in itself.
What this convoluted backstory is leading up to, is my deciding to give meditation a go. It’s not something I ever thought I get could into. I can’t even sit through a full shivasana (the bit where you lie on your back) at the end of a yoga session, so the idea of spending time pretty much just doing that bit on its own, never really appealed. Also, to be perfectly honest, meditation always sounded a bit wish- washy and airy-fairy to me. I am pleased to report however, that the basics of meditation aren’t really anything to do with spirituality or belief systems, it’s just about training your mind to focus.
I’ve started with an app called Calm. With the free subscription you get access to a series titled Seven Days of Calm. It claims to take you through the fundamentals of mindfulness in the seven ten minute long sessions.
I’ve almost completed the seven days and I can tell you now that it is hard work. It sounds ridiculous but keeping your mind from wandering is a full time and taxing occupation. Those ten minutes feel so very long, each one an internal battle of focus and control. The fact that I find it so hard is exactly why I’m going to stick with it. Apparently the inability to focus the mind is a symptom of modern, multi-tasking life.
The possible benefits of meditation include increased productivity, better sleep, reduced stress, better memory retention to name a few. I imagine this only comes after consistent practice. I did my meditation before I went to bed last night and I can report that it took me less than 15 minutes to fall asleep which is pretty unusual for me. My plan is to upgrade to the full version so I can go on to try some of the other series and hopefully I will be able to report back some positive changes from my daily ohms.