What I have learned from the 25 days of my mindful challenge using the 10% Happier app is nothing short of surprising. I feel like as I walk through my days I am able to see things that I just didn’t pick up before I trained my brain to open up more to my surroundings. My curiosity for the challenge came from work, where everyone was challenged to find meditative time from 1 minute up to 10 minutes per day. I’m sure there are other apps out there that do the same thing as 10% Happier like Headspace for example. But, 10% Happier was the one I got and the one I will use to reference my learns with you for my mindfulness exploration.
First I’ve learned a bit about what mindfulness is and the different types of meditation you can do. It’s funny because my wife responded in a really funny way when I in the beginning of the challenge told her I needed to take 10 minutes to meditate. Her statement, “You mean like your a monk or Buddha?” Her response made me giggle and I’m sure many think this is what meditation is. Well it is and it isn’t.
Some of the ways I found I can meditate where really cool exercises in self-awareness and actualizing. Here’s a sample:
- Commute and Driving meditations: Yes, you can meditate while driving. No my eyes where not closed (another misconception, you have to have closed eyes to be in a meditative state) while I was driving. Rather, it’s about noticing other drivers around you, being present in your drive to the things you can see outside of your windows. Being aware it’s not about moving forward and getting to your destination, but more about what you can learn on your way. It eliminated much of my road rage and made for a much more enjoyable commute. When I got great ideas during my drive, I’d us Siri to make a note.
- Starbucks and Coffee: Really this doesn’t have to be at Starbucks, it can be at any coffee shop. It can even be while drinking coffee in your own home. But you sit there with your coffee and just take in the sounds, people talking (don’t be creepy listening to their conversations, just the sounds they make with their talking), the taste of your coffee as you drink it, and just the motions happening around you. Trust me, it’s the only way I can enjoy, really enjoy everything about my coffee. It’s freeing.
- Sleep Meditation: I listen to this 10 minute meditation to do to sleep. I have yet to make it to the end of the meditation. So calming and it puts my mind instantly at rest so I can get to the fastest sleep possible. I had to use a sleep tracker to identify the biggest win. I found that with the meditation I slipped into deep sleep much faster than when I didn’t use the meditation. Deep sleep is our most restful sleep and the point at which our bodies get the best sleep possible for recharging us.
- Prayer: Self explanatory. People pray in many different religions as a practice to move themselves outside of their pride and egotistical tendencies into something bigger than they are. When you can do that and find that place to let go, you will see others differently. You will see ways you can help.
So many more I could name, but I hope you can see that meditation is so much more than being a monk or Buddha like in your approach. It literally can happen in all kinds of settings and places.
The biggest benefit of all though is a awareness that is incredible that will serve you so well. To many people try to find happiness in it’s singular meaning. They expect others to deliver their happiness to them and to fill their happiness cups up. While it’s very true they can take our happiness if we allow them, but true happiness I have found can be better fulfilled through finding meaning. When you have this incredible sense of meaning, you find happiness. Practicing mindfulness is a way to get to the point of finding your own meaningfulness.
Hope the weekend is going well. Thanks for reading!