Guest post written by: Vanessa Lambert
As seekers of wellness continue to peel back layers to become more and more dialed in to their bodies, they tend to recognize the importance of mindfulness, even if they can’t quite put their finger on it. It usually creeps slowly into the dialog and we hear things like “if only I could get my cortisol down I’d lose the last 2 pounds” or “I wish I knew how to turn off these monkeys in my head”, but in the end most realize they just need some headspace. In our experience, most people understand the importance of having a mindfulness practice but very few actually commit to it. In this article we will discuss some common barriers and ways our clients have successfully overcome them.
Meditation and other mindfulness practices like tai chi, yoga, and even simple breathing exercises have been proven to calm the nervous system, aid in weight loss, and improve overall health and wellness. Many report an improvement in mood and an increase in their overall happiness as a result of initiating a mindfulness practice. So why, with so many sources spouting myriad benefits of mindfulness, do many of us still neglect this piece of our wellness story? Here are the four reasons we hear most:
- Barrier to entry – If you do not have mindfulness as part of your routine, determining where to start may seem somewhat daunting if not completely overwhelming. With so many options it’s easy to let the signal be lost in the noise.
- Belief systems – You may be thinking to yourself that something as simple as sitting quietly and breathing can’t really make a significant difference in your life. Furthermore, you may be apprehensive of the dogma that seemingly follows meditation, yoga, and many other mindfulness practices.
- Time – There is not enough for it and trying to fit one more thing into your daily schedule can at times feel like the straw that will break the camel’s back. Between trying to get eight hours of sleep, preparing your organic, well sourced, paleo meals, and getting your pump on, adding yet another task seems like one thing too many.
- Best of intentions – You actually sincerely want to include this practice into your life but somehow one day after another passes without it actualizing.
So how do we overcome these obstacles and find out how mindfulness can benefit us personally?
- Break down the barriers – Find something with an extremely low barrier to entry. Download an app on your phone that offers a 10-minute daily meditation, count your breaths for 1 minute in the morning when you wake, or take time to fill one page with your thoughts and feelings each day in your journal. It doesn’t have to be a huge time consuming effort, just find the thing that is easiest and make a habit of it.
- Do it for 21 days – Just like learning to change your diet and exercise routine, you have to simply give it a sincere effort. Commit to any sort of practice for at least 21 days and then decide if you feel a difference. Track changes in your health and wellness by comparing your productivity, mood, sleep, biomarkers, or even recovery time.
- Keep it simple – Schedule your practice at the same time every day. Most people find right when you wake up or before you go to bed to be convenient. Don’t do anything too overwhelming or that takes more than 15 minutes.
- Get out of your own way – Set a start date and stick to it. Sign up for a group class or meditation challenge that keeps you accountable to a schedule.
Whatever it is you decide to do, try it sincerely for at least three weeks so you can truly decide what kind of effect it has on you. If nothing else, you can eliminate any guilt of not giving it a go by committing for a period of time. Best-case scenario, you just found a way to considerably improve your life with very little cost and effort.
This month, to kick off a new year of our Unveil Your Wellness paleo challenges, we are giving away one month of our guided meditation program for FREE! Start the year out on the right foot by getting grounded with daily 10-minute guided binaural meditations. Explore themes like peace, distraction energy, and total relaxation as you wind your way towards 21 days of decompression. Connect with other like-minded people following the same program via our private social network. This is a perfect way to remove any of the above-mentioned obstacles and give yourself the opportunity to see what mindfulness can do for you!
Enter code rwmed16 at check out to get your FREE access!
Smith Martin says
Great article and really helpful .I really found this article interesting to read .Keep sharing 🙂
Addison Johnson says
It’s a good thing that I’ve come up to this article. I’ve been thinking the same way as you too. There are a lot of people nowadays that are over occupied and bombarded with so many thoughts in their mind such as balancing the consumption of this and that. How can I maintain this and how can I reduce that. In my experience, being so occupied with these thoughts results to not so good outcome. It’s just like choosing from so many good choices and ending up being unable to pick one. There are a lot of personal problem an individual is already facing to start with, and loading more stuffs to think of to the brain might be stressful. And every dietician knows that stress is one of the factors that affect a healthy diet in a bad way. Sometimes, we have to focus on what is really happening around us or within us in the present. Though it may be beneficial to think of the future, doing that too much will not do anyone any good. Your article helped me a lot in so many ways. Keep up the good work.