Chill Out: Meditation and Planning

Stress. Is. Bad. So chill out!

We live in a world that expects you to juggle busy to-do lists, work obligations, and bills all while planning healthy meals, working out, and looking “put together”. We get it done….well most of it. But do you find yourself cutting back on sleep, cutting your workouts short, and just trying to make it happen. This starts the vicious cycle of waking up tired, hitting snooze ten too many times, and rushing out the door to do it all again. You can stop this unhealthy pattern by dedicating 5-10 minutes a day to mediation and planning.

The goal of meditation is to let your mind find calmness. Feeling centered can help you get through the craziest days without feeling unglued. Go find a comfy quite place and take a few minutes to just breathe, let go of stresses and let go of worries.

My Method for Meditation

There are SO many ways to meditate. I have tried a handful and found the one that works for me. I use the trashcan method. I envision my thoughts as I put them into a large dumpster. Example: If I can’t get a song out of my head then I imagine a speaker playing the song as I place it into the dumpster and shut the lid. Sometimes the same thoughts will pop back into my mind a few times, so I have to put them back in the dumpster…. again and again. With time and practice, the result should be a clear mind and a feeling of calm or bliss.

This method is great for clearing a stressed mind but can also be used to pinpoint “problems”.  If you are feeling unsettled about a certain situation (work, family, relationships) meditation can reveal your true issue by removing all of the other clutter. You can see clearly the one lingering thought and in time understand where it is coming from. This time of reflection is an opportunity for you to grow in a positive way. Through consistent meditation you will become more in tune with your mind and body. You can learn to control your thoughts which will result in controlling your emotions.

Planning

Write is down. Make your to do list into 3 categories (do now, do soon, do later). Many times we can’t stop thinking about our to-do list because you have to keep reminding yourself of everything so you won’t forget. Writing it down solves this problem. Every night before I go to bed I write down everything I need to get done and plan out the next day.  I include the big things (like my teaching schedule) and the small things (like doing my laundry). If I am going somewhere I write down everything I need to bring. This lets my mind unwind and lets me get a better night’s sleep. It sounds simple because it is! It will take a few minutes and relieve your mind of so much unnecessary stress. So do it…. now