You betcha! Not only does it ‘work’, it’s possibly one of my most favourite ways to manage my anxiety and access those feel good vibes!
Perhaps you’ve heard about meditation before, or perhaps this is the first time it’s popped up on your radar. Either way - I believe every socially-anxious woman should have meditation in her toolbelt!
So what is meditation?
Here’s an excerpt from Psychology Today: “Meditation is the practice of turning one's attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase, known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means pivoting away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.”
I’ve been meditating on and off for the last 7 years. It was the countless benefits that reeled me in. Such as less stress and anxiety, feelings of calm and relaxation, more clarity and focus, more confidence and an increased connection to my inner self. There are countless more benefits, all backed by science and to find them all you need to do is a quick Google search.
Despite the benefits, it took me years before I finally committed and went all in. And when I say committed and went all in, I mean I stopped doing a half arse two-minute meditation every couple of weeks on the morning of a stressful social event, function or work meeting. Yep, for years that was my version of meditation.
For me, meditation isn’t a do-once-quick-fix solution. It’s best practised consistently every day. And if that sounds totally unachievable and ridiculous - please stay with me.
I am not an hour every morning kind of meditator. Nope. That’s not going work. I don’t even have the responsibility of children and that’s still not going to work. What has worked for me is a 10 minute meditation every morning. First thing in the morning. OK, after I tongue scrape (don’t knock it, till you try it :P), go to the bathroom and make myself a cup of warm lemon water.
I also don’t sit in complete silence. Nope. Also difficult for me. Instead, I listen to guided meditations or Meditones (essentially beautiful word-less tunes that make my soul oh so happy).
I’m going to take the hard work out for you and recommend some of my favourite meditations. If you haven’t already got it, download the Insight Timer app on your phone (it’s free!). Then search for ‘Sarah Blondin’ and listen to ‘Remembering Your Worth’ or ‘Loving and Listening to Yourself’ or ‘Learning to Surrender’ - actually - listen to ANY of her meditations. They are all divine!
There are so many tools and techniques that I’ve tried to ease my anxiety. And meditation is a hugely effective one. I’d go as far as saying it’s changed my life (along with eating intuitively, getting more sleep, moving my body and changing my mindset). The most powerful way it’s been able to do that is by setting up my day with a positive frame of mind.
TRY IT AT HOME
I’d like to encourage you to give this a go for two weeks. Really commit to it. Meditate every morning for 10 minutes (minimum) for two whole weeks. Treat it as a fun experiment and notice how differently your day plays out or how you feel. Do you feel calmer? More focussed? More confident?
Bonus homework: Keep a journal over the two weeks and at the end of the day, write down any insights.
Will you say yes to this experiment - and most importantly to you?
YES, COUNT ME IN!
Woo! I’m so excited for you! Here are some quick tips that have helped me commit to and LOVE my meditation practice:
If the Meditones music or guided meditations by Sarah Blondin don’t resonate - no sweat. Take it as an opportunity to find something else on Insight Timer that you love.
Wear headphones to block out outside noise.
Meditate somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Lock your bedroom door if you have to, or let your partner know you’ll be meditating for 10 minutes.
Keep your back supported. I usually meditate in bed, with my legs crossed and back against my pillow and bed frame. You can lie down too, but I don’t recommend it if you’re likely to nod off. I have. Many a time!
Worried about too many thoughts swirling around your mind when you’re meant to be meditating? That’s ok! Please know thoughts will come and go. It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Simply let the thought go by focusing on your breath or the music.
If you like, you can amp up your meditation into a juicy self-care experience. Rub some essential oils on your wrist (I like lavender or rose oil), bring out your favourite crystals and light a candle.
Final tip: Learn how to breathe properly. I was first taught this years ago and it definitely took a while to get a hold of it. But once you learn it, you can’t unlearn it and it’ll take your meditation to a whole new level. Watch this clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldNnKVGxabA .
I’d love to know- do you meditate or are you now feeling inspired to try it? If you take up this challenge - please send me a DM on Instagram in two weeks time. I’d love to know how you go!