Back in August 2013, I started practicing mindfulness.
Life was very hectic, and I was feeling overwhelmed. A friend told me about his regular meditation practice, which sounded a little weird. He even involved his children, and he swore that he noticed a positive impact on their behavior when they meditated.
I’m not into anything spiritual or emotional, but this guy seemed pretty smart and successful, so I downloaded a meditation and breathing app from the iTunes store.
The first time I tried to meditate, I fell asleep at the beach. I thought, “This is lame.” But after practicing mindfulness for a few weeks, I noticed that it became an important and regular part of my daily routine. I missed it when I skipped a day or two.
After several months, I could no longer tolerate running with music blaring in my ears.
That’s when I was hooked.
During the past 18 months, the practice of mindfulness has given me another tool to use in my boring battle against anxiety and cynicism. I’m thankful for it, and I think mindfulness is something that can be incorporated into schools and work environments without being all Dr. Oz about it.
(The only thing worse than not practicing mindfulness is listening to some pretentious douchebag spout the benefits of mindfulness as an opening salvo to a larger discussion about homeopathy, Eastern medicine, and Tibetan Buddhism. No thanks.)
Whether or not you choose to learn more about mindfulness or meditation is totally your call, but you should know that stealing five minutes for yourself isn’t impossible. I know you’re a busy parent with lots of stuff to do. You have big obligations and a long commute. But I also know you’re on Facebook.
So if you have a smartphone that has a data plan, you have time to put down the mobile device and calm your brain for five minutes each day. Hate your job? Wonder how you’re ever going to escape the crushing burden of your student loans? Wish your kids would just shut the hell up for two seconds?
Let me recommend the app Simply Being as a first step in calming the hell down. It works. Trust me.