To start, the bloke sitting on the tree stump isn’t me.
There’s nothing fancy about my meditations. Nothing Instagram worthy at least. They normally last around 5 to 10 minutes of me sitting on the couch in the go-to meditation position looking like an out-of-place frog.
Last year, in November, I kicked off an experiment. I decided to do a 5–10 minutes meditation every morning for 3 months in an effort to zen-out from my app-filled work days.
Now in my 4th month, I wanted to share a few of my process and thoughts on how meditation has developed my routine for the better and worse.
The Evolution of My Meditations
1st iteration | 11.2016
When I first started things, the meditation was between 3–5 minutes.
I would YouTube and Spotify as my resource for finding calming music. This normally provided a long tone or melodic tune that helped me get in the relaxed zone.
I would start by thinking of the basics, clearing my mind and focusing on decluttering the mind. Early editions of my notes showed the general feelings I was having, a lot of the sessions helped to remove any worries from my brain before kicking off the day.
On reflection the YouTube videos weren’t the best to use as they’d rely on me predicting 5-mins worth and then stopping the video, damaging to the session. Even ads were annoying the experience!
2nd iteration | 01.2017
Kicking off the new year, as we all do, tweaking my efforts. The mediation improved.
Both these technical introductions helped to refine my efforts. The session length stayed the same at 5-minutes but much easier with specific tones and timers on the Mindfulness app allowing me to cut off my sessions bang on time.
The yoga helped to compliment the sessions.
I was still thinking about clearing my thoughts from the start of the day, but started to test whether thinking about the main focus of my day would help. So during the meditations for a month or so, I asked “What is main focus for today” – during these breakouts I’d be able to channel what my desire for the day would be.
I also started to weave an extra session into midday breaks at home. These 3–5 minute meditations helped with the remote work I do to break out away from the PC and review the efforts and impact of my day so far.
Learning from these months were simple. Continue with removing worries from my brain and channel attention into working out key deliverables for the day ahead.
Current iteration | 03.2017
After these last 4 months of testing and tweaking I’m starting to get into a cadence of sessions every morning. Some of the practices haven’t changed too much, although I do get a cup of tea or water before I start as it helps increase my span of attention during the meditation.
In terms of improvements in these last 4 months, I’ve seen better improvements in my:
- Attention to detail – with certain pieces of work I’ve been a bit more alert and fine tuned with my efforts
- Happiness – I’m already a pretty happy individual in my day to day attitude but have felt more calmed and chilled, even more.
- Energy levels – Feel like I have an extra 30 minutes to spare despite spending 5–10minutes a day on this, thanks to an energy boost.
- Patience – Again. I’m fairly patient but this practice has really helped. Probably the biggest mover has been my patience, it’s doubled allowing me to continue to think more long-term with anything I do.
- Creative thinking – I’ve noticed ideas and thoughts have been more regular in my day, even productive day dreaming has increased but all useful to my work.
As a previous skeptic, I’d say wean into meditation.
Try it daily for 2–3 minutes, take weekends off and just keep it going to 3 months. See how everything pans out, everyone’s experience is different.
Setting a experiment like this will help to see if it’s effective to you or not. I didn’t expect it to be that effective with my work and general wellbeing but after a few months it certainly has been!
Originally published at medium.com