Happy Hump Day!
It always seems that Wednesdays are the hardest day in the week (at least for most people). We are all exhausted from working all day, workouts, reading, outside activities, kids activities, etc. and starts catching up to us on Wednesdays! I get asked all the time how I work from 5am-8pm in the evening Monday-Thursday and 5am-5ish on Fridays. It’s not easy, and I definitely have my moments when all I want to do is sleep the day away and not move at all. A lot of that has to do with my body being sore from CrossFit training, and now my beach volleyball training. However, everything that makes me so tired is stuff I enjoy doing, so even though the initial get up and go is difficult, once I get to the gym to coach, or to the sand courts to train I immediately wake up! Also, pairing all that activity with the best supplements on the market helps too!
My main tool that I use to stay as level headed and calm as possible no matter how stressful and crazy my life can get is meditation! This is something that I’ve gotten stronger in throughout the year, and have seen huge results from! It helps me breathe during my CrossFit workouts, stay level headed when I’m playing volleyball (or making mistakes) and helps my overall patience.
Let’s start with the definition of meditation:
“Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.” (http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/meditation)
What Kinds of Meditation are there?
“There are many forms of meditation practised by individuals worldwide, though the fundamental principle is one of reflection and deliberation, bringing about a state of rumination. Several forms of meditation acknowledged worldwide include transcendental meditation, vipassana meditation, Zen meditation, Taoist meditation, mindfulness meditation, and Buddhist meditation. Several of these may possibly call for the body being completely still or having the ability to be moved with controlled deliberation whereas various other forms of meditation will allow liberated movement of the body. Regardless of the dissimilar methods practiced, the sole reason of meditation is of course to teach our busy mind to become quiet, releasing our psyche from stress and anxiety drawing upon some calm reflection and contemplation.” (http://www.project-meditation.org/a_mt4/forms_of_meditation.html)
I personally get my meditation through things like yoga, taking deep breaths right before bed, prayer, and jumping around my room first thing in the morning! I know the last one sounds a bit strange, but doing that at 4:30am every morning will help you wake up, get your blood flowing, and make you smile (there is no way to do that without cracking a smile….I’ve tried!). Before games or CrossFit competitions I like to be by myself and zone out for a second, listen to a good song (either something Hip-Hop or Bob Marley…two extremes, I know.)\
There are TONS of options out there for you to choose from, it all depends on the person and what helps them zone out and relax!
What are some Benefits of Meditation?
“Research has scientifically proven that meditation is a safe and simple way to balance your physical, emotional, and mental state and its countless values have been known and practiced for thousands of years. More and more doctors promote the benefits of meditation to cure many stress related illnesses. Everyday most of us experience stress in many different ways and I believe many people are simply not aware of the benefits of meditation or of how much stress we actually hold on to. Normally life threatening situations trigger off the stress response which enables us to act without contemplation and deliberation and survive intense situations using fast reflexes….One of the most important benefits of meditation is how it releases stress from our bodies. Meditation practised regularly will lead you to a deeper level of relaxation and contemplation. If you want to be free of constant worry, pressure and stress the benefits of meditation can give you a life that is calm, peaceful, happy and relaxed.
Even ten minutes of meditation a day will help alleviate stress.” (http://www.project-meditation.org/benefits_of_meditation.html)
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Meditation for me, serves as a way for me to sit back and realize that there is something bigger than me out there. A bigger purpose and a bigger meaning, so giving thanks for everything I’ve been blessed with, and learning from everything I’ve lost keeps me happy
“Prayer is more than meditation. In meditation, the source of strength is one’s self. When one prays, he goes to a source of strength greater than his own.” Madame de Stael