THE 3 MINUTE READ
IS MEDITATION YOUR NEXT THING?
I had always thought meditation was fairly ridiculous. In my type A brain, I used to rank it alongside astrological signs and tarot card readings.
Not too long ago, I ran across a study where researchers took people who had never meditated before, taught them how to meditate, and scanned their brains after they did a series of short, daily meditations. Those simple meditations literally shrunk the gray matter in their brains in areas associated with stress. That certainly piqued my interest.
So if you’re even remotely interested in shrinking the part of your brain responsible for stress, meditation might be your next THING.
When I started this THING, I was a little scared of meditation because I thought it would bring out my deepest fears and anxieties. It turns out, that’s exactly what it did.
The thing is, fears and anxieties tend to surface whether we’re ready for them or not. That is a lesson I learned when I moved to South Korea and was immediately blindsided with anxiety after years of rarely feeling anxious. At that time, I had nothing in my toolbag to deal with these negative emotions, and they got the best of me for awhile. Through meditation, I’m learning how to label those emotions and proactively handle them.
One important note: If you have trauma in your personal history or if you suffer from a mental illness, consider consulting a mental health professional before making meditation your THING.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
There is absolutely no reason that you need to spend any money doing this THING. That’s not to say that you can’t spend money if you want to get totally knitted out. But all that you really need to meditate is a chair to sit in and the time to commit to your practice. For that reason, meditation is a wonderful THING to select because it never costs anything and you can easily squeeze it in around your past and future THINGS.
"Everyone wants to live longer, but meditation is a way to feel like you've lived longer. You are present for more moments of your life, and thereby you are living longer."
- Anderson Cooper paraphrasing Jon Kabat-Zinn
WHAT YOU'LL GET
Everything you need to go from a meditation skeptic to someone who won’t be afraid to say, “You’ll never believe it, but meditation is my new THING,” to your friends and family. There are 3 levels to this THING:
Level 0: What is meditation and what can it do for me?
You will get answers to both of those questions through a combination of scientific findings, expert opinions, personal anecdotes, and a little bit of stand-up comedy (not my own, you’re welcome).
Level 1: Home base: focus on your breath
The goal of level 1 is to get comfortable with mindfulness meditation. You will get 3-step comprehensive instructions for basic mindfulness meditation, expert recommendations, as well as a day-by-day look into my first experience with meditation.
Level 2: Branch out
Each meditation starts with the “home base” that you will develop with practice in level 1. From there, the possibilities are endless. In level 2, you will get detailed instructions for my 6 favorite meditations, plus resources to find hundreds more, including guided meditations.
As always, the inspiration page is full of videos, podcasts, books, articles, and websites that will help you meditate on days where you need a little extra motivation. I collected these resources throughout my month of meditation and still use them frequently to find inspiration.