My Meditation Challenge

My Meditation Challenge #mindfulness #meditation #stress #anxiety #muse

I have a confession. I’ve been really unfocused lately. My brain seems to be spinning. I’m busy and working a lot and yet my unfinished work pile just seems to get bigger. I feel inefficient, scattered, unproductive. Anyone else feeling the same way?

 

So, I’ve decided to dial up my meditation practice. I’ve believed in meditation for a long time, but can’t say that I’ve been very good at practicing what I preach.

 

To me, meditation simply means a time to be still, quiet, and just focus on breathing. It is a time to put all other thoughts aside and try to clear my mind.

 

So, as a therapist, I know all this and I believe in the benefits of meditation. But I just wasn’t doing it. I’d forget. I was busy. I wasn’t really sure I was doing it right. How could I tell if it was working? Ya, a lot of excuses.

 

My personal meditation challenge is to meditate everyday for two weeks to see if it helps me focus and relax. This isn’t a huge amount of meditation, but I wanted to do something that feels doable.  My hope is that this will help me create a behavioral pattern that I will continue.

 

meditate with muse

Sharon with Muse meditation headband

I am using the Muse in my meditation practice. Muse uses EEG sensors to record your brain waves. It then provides immediate feedback on your smart phone. I will post some of my session results for added accountability and to evaluate progress. If you’d like to join me in the challenge, you can do it the old fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

 

Youtube has tons of mediation videos and there are also many mediation apps. Here are a few that are free.

Meditation Apps

  • Pacifica
  • Calm
  • Breathe
  • Insight Timer
  • Mindfully Me

 

You can also just sit quietly in a relaxed, upright position. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. In and out, in and out. When your mind wanders (and it will!) just bring it back to your breath.

 

Here are the results of my first meditation challenge session. This has been a fairly typical result for me.


meditation with muse #meditation #muse

 

And then there was this one. It can only get better, right?


meditation session 2 #meditation #muse

Stay tuned and I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, feel free to join our free e-newsletter and great more great tips on happiness and emotional wellness!

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in the San Jose area, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.

One Comment

  1. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks for sharing your meditation journey. I”m hoping that meditating helps restore your focus and balance.

    I especially appreciated these charts that you get from Muse… This feedback mechanism looks like an easy way of encouraging/improving your meditation training.

    I meditate regularly but when I’ve used the em-wave technology (it is similar to Muse), I find that there is room for me to further improve my relaxation skills. One other idea that you may find helpful (if the meditation isn’t enough) is going for a few acupuncture sessions. I’ve found acupuncture to be very helpful in recalibrating the body when it’s gotten out of sync for some reason or another.

    Best wishes,
    Dorlee

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