My mind is always going at 150 miles an hour, and never seems to stop. Even if I’m sat watching a film or TV I am on my phone replying to emails or have a pen and paper in my hand, writing lists of things to do. A lot of the time this comes in handy because it means I am able to juggle all the different things I do like drama school, singing, blogging and YouTube. However ultimately I hit a point where my brain gives in and the stress gets too much. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s natural, it’s hard to avoid the stress of day-to-day life and I know a lot of people find it very hard to switch off.
Last year I started really feeling the strain that I was putting on myself and for me this comes out in anger. I’m not a particularly angry person but where as some people get sad I tend to get angry and annoyed that I can’t fit in all the things I want to be doing. While all this stress hit a peak last year I came across a video online about the benefits of meditation. I thought nothing of it to be honest, I thought I knew what meditation was it’s sitting with your legs crossed humming and chucking in the occasional ‘namaste’ for good measure.
I watched the video anyway and the results all seemed very appealing, so I gave it a go. I sat on my bed with my legs crossed and back straight to the wall, set a timer for 10 minutes, I closed my eyes and counted my breaths in and out and tried my best to stop my mind wandering off to different things I needed to do, or people I needed to call. I simply breathed in and out. After I had finished I got an empty notebook and wrote down a list of things I was grateful for at that moment in my life. Okay so I’m not going to lie to you all and say nothing else came into my head of course it did but one of the most important things to remember with meditation is to have no expectations and no judgement. Some days you might have a million things in your head and not be able to keep your mind empty at all and others it may come a lot more naturally but, I promise you, the more you practise it the easier it gets and the more you see benefits.
At first I really struggled to know if I was doing it ‘right’ and wanted to make sure I was getting the most out of it. So I downloaded a couple of apps and gave them a go. I would highly recommend downloading Calm and most of all Headspace. Both consist of guided meditation sessions where someone talks you through the motions which can be such a massive help at first.
I am the prime example of someone who used to see things like meditation as a waste of time, why would I sit for 10 minutes with my eyes closed when I could be getting work done or watching a film, but try it. I promise you no matter how busy your day is taking just 10 minutes to yourself in a quite space and clearing your head will make your day a millions times more productive in the long run. Looking after your mind has got to be one of the most important things to do, many of us either suffer or know people that are suffering from mental illness so why would we not take the time to look after our minds.