9 Reasons Why You Should Try Meditation

How to meditate, reasons why you should try meditation

When you hear the word ‘meditation’ what do you think of? 

Do you picture a tranquil forest with exotic birds chirping? Do you think of the pitter-patter of rain? Or do you imagine Tibetan Monks in a deep trance floating in the air? These are all images I think of when this practice comes to mind. I was a bit skeptical before starting my meditation journey. I thought it was another way to waste my time. You see, I’ve always thought of it as an odd trend that everyone wanted to try because it looked cool in Kung Fu movies. As the curious person I am, I did my research about it.

According to 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.” After understanding the practice and trying it a few times, I realized that it has helped me in some major aspects of my life. So here are 9 reasons why I meditate and why you should try it too.

1. Meditation reduces the stress of the day

Whether young or old, everyone goes through stress. Unfortunately, meditation can’t get rid of the things that you’re going through. Rather, its purpose is to allow you to manage stress better. I usually meditate as I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed at night for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes just simply reflecting on what happened during the day helps too.

2. Meditation helps me to sleep better

Sometimes I try to force myself to sleep when in actuality, it makes the situation even worse. Sleeplessness can be linked to the level of stress your body is going through. Some studies show that meditation tackles stress hormones and decreases them the more you meditate. Before going to bed you can meditate to settle your thoughts. I usually lie down in a comfortable position and try to focus on my breathing. It’s not as simple as it sounds but don’t beat yourself up when you drift in thought for the first few tries. 

3. Meditation helps me to remember dreams

I am notoriously known for rarely remembering dreams. It was pretty frustrating when I woke up almost every morning knowing that I had a good dream but I forgot it. Not only has meditation helped me to recall my dreams but it caused them to feel more vivid as well. You won’t experience that the first time meditating but with continuous practice, you can reach that level.

4. Meditation makes me feel calm and relaxed

Imagine yourself frustrated trying to study for an important exam.  You feel jittery because you feel as if you’re not remembering all that you’ve studied from before. Your body can go through so much when you’re feeling anxious. Simply pausing your study time to sit down and meditate helps to calm your nerves. Afterwards, you’ll feel refreshed. Meditation can help you to think clearly in order to tackle daily tasks.

5. Meditation improves my focus

We live in a very busy world. If you were to sit at a bus stop, you’d hear the horns of vehicles honking or maybe you’d see children playing on the sidewalk across the street. You might be even listening to your favorite music on your phone. If you’re not careful, listening to all of this noise can cause you to become distracted. You might even miss your bus! When you’ve mastered the basic skills of meditation (e.g. breathing exercises), it will be easier for you to concentrate on areas of importance in your daily life. It would be harder for you to be distracted by the noise around you. Meditation aids to pinpoint your main priorities for family life, work, school, and any other important aspect you want to focus on.

6. Meditation is a good hobby

The word ‘hobby’ sometimes has a negative connotation in the sense that some view it as an idle thing you do to pass the time. However, for me, meditation is a past time that I’ve slowly started to enjoy and I’m trying to be consistent with it. I see meditation as a form of art that should be appreciated, even though it’s misunderstood by many.

7. Meditation gets rid of my mental clutter

I’m an over-thinker and sometimes it becomes mentally overwhelming. Some people experience anxiety attacks, headaches, or emotional instability. With meditation, it allows you to take out the mental clutter and replace it with something more useful and positive. You can read a chapter from a positive book such as self-help or religious books – anything that makes you feel good and allows you to contemplate about life. Pick a phrase or word that connects with you and use it as a mantra when you do your next meditation session. 

8. Meditation helps me to appreciate the little things

There is a type of meditation called Gratitude Meditation. As the name suggests it is the practice of reflecting about all the persons and things you are thankful for. Every day I think about all the things that stood out to me during the day that I appreciated such as having clothes on my back or having supportive loved ones. Meditating aided me to make me less cranky and more in tune with what really matters in life.

9. Meditation helps me to respond rather than react

The words ‘response’ and ‘reaction’ have two different meanings. A response deals with thinking before saying or doing something. A reaction is when you instantly act or say something, without thinking at all. Sometimes we react impulsively and regret what we say or do afterward. Sadly, I am a victim of that at times. As stated before, meditation helps me to focus and have a calm demeanor throughout the day. Therefore, this aids me to think and respond more instead of reacting to the outside world. It makes me aware of myself and the people around me.

If you are a skeptic like I was, I hope that you at least try it. There are several types of meditation and there’s one out there just for you! I suggest watching YouTube videos on how to effectively meditate. You can listen to soft acoustic instrumentals or hour-long audio of rain. Also, you can try any meditation app. Personally, I use Headspace. Now get out there and be your best self for the rest of 2019!

Written by Melissa Kerr


How To Raise Low Self Esteem And Boost Confidence

How to be more confident when you have low self esteem

There is nothing that a woman wears better than her confidence, pride, and self-esteem. How we view ourselves is one of the most important aspects of who we are. It can shape our lives and help determine our successes. It can make us stand out in a crowd or blend into the walls. The more well built your self-esteem and self-worth are, the more likely you are to achieve your goals and find happiness.

1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

From appearances to achievements, it can be easy to compare ourselves to those who surround us. Majority of the time when we make these comparisons, we will not match up. That’s because we are focusing on what we are lacking, everything seems worse when you make it a competition. We are all individuals, the person you are so harshly comparing yourself to may be comparing themselves to you. Avoid stepping into this pit of despair and feeling inferior to your peers. Turn all your focus on being a better you.

2. Start the Day with Positivity

Using a dry erase marker and write positive words to yourself on your bathroom mirror. These can be inspirational quotes or just a simple, “Hey girl. Seize the day.”. You’ll start the day off the right way by seeing positivity and uplifting your spirit before you ever leave the house. Make this a daily routine.

3. Find a New Hobby

There is a sense of thrill and accomplishment when one takes on a new hobby. Learning and gaining experience in an activity or project grows your knowledge. It adds more to the person that you are. You’re developing a new skill and broadening your mind and capabilities. We take pride in what we know and what we can do. A new hobby not only adds to your self-worth but is also entertaining and good for the soul.

4. Fix Another Queen’s Crown

We must boost each other up. Every one of us has experienced a bad day so be the light to someone’s bleakness. A mere compliment can go a long way. Let’s lift each other up because we’ve all needed it before. We are valuable, we are important, and we need to make sure that every one of us knows it. Be each other’s hype squad.

5. Get Healthy

Eat right and get yourself a little workout routine, even if it's walking just a mile three times a week. You can always add to a work-out routine later if you want to. For some people, this might not sound like a good idea but when your body begins to feel better and your overall health has improved, you feel better about yourself. When your body is healthy, your mind and heart are more content.

6. Develop an Inner Dialogue

Engage in a dialogue with yourself, because who knows you better than you! No, it’s not crazy to talk to yourself, sometimes we need to explore what is bringing us down and what we can do to build ourselves up. It’s also good to verbally remind yourself of your strong points and values. Provide a little of your own therapy.

7. Pamper Yourself

Sometimes we just need to hit the reset button on ourselves. Take a trip to a spa or purchase a massage deal. Groupon is perfect for finding an affordable way to pamper yourself. Even if you’re shy on the money, you can pick up face and foot masks from your local store. Pop in a bath bomb, light a scented candle and cucumber your eyes. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, refresh yourself.

8. Establish Relationship Lines

Some of us have a harder time with this than others but establishing how you want to be treated and the standard for how people should communicate and interact with you is important to your self-worth. People will either respect you or they won’t, it is up to you to develop the threshold of what behaviors and treatments are acceptable to you. We’ve all had a bossy friend or over-opinionated family member and they can weigh heavily on your emotions when you’re around them. You might love them but let them know where your lines are drawn. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than you are, be disrespectful or push their will onto you.

9. Remove Social Negativity

The existence of social media has brought the drama right to your couch where you’re sitting in pajamas, maybe drinking a glass of wine. Remove the negative. Be it a nosey cousin, dramatic best friend constantly over-sharing, or just some far off person from the past it's okay to silence them; better yet, delete them. Studies in Pakistan have concluded that social media tends to have a negative impact on your self-esteem by making it easier to compare yourself to others and to allow the sadness and grief of posts to affect your life.

10. Accept Who You Are

Each individual person is unique, from our personality traits to our skills and interests. Define who you are. Accept who you are. You must be in love with yourself. Look at your strong points and what makes you special, what you're capable of offering to yourself, others and the world. Accept those good qualities that you have. 

Some people just exude self-esteem and radiate their self-worth. Some of us struggle to achieve the level of self-confidence that we are aiming for but regardless we can always improve on our growth and constantly become a better person with a better outlook on ourselves. Give these tips and tricks a try and see if any of them are beneficial to you.

Written by Brianne Pickering

When You Feel Like Giving Up

I feel like giving up on life after a breakup

Life can seem perfect and fine one minute, and the next, your whole world has been shaken up and you feel like you've lost everything. Sometimes we invest ourselves in people and situations that end up being the completely wrong things for us and before you know it, you've become attached to someone or something that has no plans for you in their future.

You've built a life around loving someone, you've found happiness in a place or situation, to only discover this person thinks nothing of you. I feel like giving up, on everything. I won't though because there is so much more out there that I'm worthy of, even if I can't see it right now.

1. Be thankful for what is not in your life anymore

Thank God for the things that have left your life. You may feel sorrow, emptiness, and loneliness but if a situation is bringing you unhappiness, it shouldn't be in your life. This heartbreak was going to come sooner or later and be thankful that you didn't waste more years of your life with someone who was always going to leave you. Be thankful that you are free to find happiness and free from the misery and despair that you were stuck in. Things are being removed from your life because they are not meant to be there. Do not force them back into your life and do not let them back in.

2. Be thankful for what is in your life

This is easier said than done. We take our parents for granted, we take our homes for granted, we take our talents for granted, we take everything we have for granted because we're missing that one thing that we no longer have. Don't focus on what you've lost, for you haven't lost anything. You've gained the ability to see what you have in your life, see what's been there for you through thick and thin and what will always be there for you.

3. Life isn't happening to you

I've gone through the past year of my life feeling out of control of my decisions. I let someone else decide when to invite me to things, when to be included and when to be happy. I placed my happiness in someone else's hands and I lost it all when they decided they didn't need me anymore. I didn't make any of own decisions to be happy, but instead, I made decisions that would enable me to be with someone I loved. I felt like life was happening to me. I was going through the motions and I realized I need to make changes and start living my own god damn life.

4. Live your own life, not someone else's

If you don't make your own decisions and have your own life plan, you'll end up being a small part of someone else's, and guess what they have planned for you in their future, not much. When you find someone who's life is much more exciting and adventurous than yours, it's easy to become a part of their life rather than equal parts of each others. You can enjoy someone else's company so much that give up your own and stop doing the things that make you unique and special. Don't be a small pawn in someone else's life, be at the center of your own.

5. Don't place your happiness in someone else's hands

You can become so happy with someone that you don't realize you've become dependent on them for happiness. That feeling of love is different from anything else you have in your life, and when you feel connected to someone, they give you so much happiness.

However, if you don't have a strong support network in your own life and you entered a relationship feeling vulnerable or broken from a previous, you're not coming from a place of happiness and you're putting yourself in a dangerous situation because when that person decides they've had enough of you and used you for what you're worth, you're left with nothing and no one. Instead of looking for happiness in someone else again, try and find it in yourself.

6. The actions of other's are not a reflection on you

If you've been excluded from things and kept on the outside by a partner, it can feel so hurtful because you don't feel good enough, you think about what you've done wrong and what you could've done better. Could I have been more fun to be around? Prettier? Skinnier? More interesting? More confident? What could I have done to make him want me in his life, and not shut me out like this? The problem doesn't lie with you.

Certain people have different personality traits and may not be as caring and compassionate as you. Especially in the case of being with someone who has narcissistic tendencies, the problem most definitely does not lie with you, but with the narcissist. You are not a burden, you are not to blame, you're just with the completely wrong person.

7. Do. Not. Give. Up.

Do not give up your own life for someone who has had a bad impact on it. Don't lose your light for someone who has mistreated you. No matter how terrible you're feeling, know that you are strong and you will come through this and find the light that they took away from you. You are free now. You are free to discover your true self and find your place in the world.

Don't wish that you'd walked away sooner. Don't wish that you'd been stronger to leave them. Don't wish that they'll come back. Don't give up on your life. Be strong, take each day at a time, and be the most powerful person you can. Use your talents and abilities to all your strengths and remove the past negative thoughts from your mind. Focus on you.

When you feel like giving up after a breakup, it's only because you're focusing on the negative things that have just happened. Instead, remove any thought of the person from your mind, accept that they've done you wrong and be blessed that they're out of your life.