This morning, I woke up two hours earlier than my alarm. I tried everything I could to go back to sleep: breathe deeply, count sheep, imagine I’m on a cloud of whipped cream. So, I woke up and ate a slice of last night’s pie and got to work.
And then it dawned on me: I think I’m a morning person! All my life, I’ve been the throw-a-book-at-the-alarm-clock type, but ever since I added 10 minutes of meditation to my morning routine, I can’t wait to wake up and experience what the day has to offer me.
Sure, it’s tough to calm your racing mind from counting off the tasks on your daily to-do list, but finding five minutes to invest in yourself and just be is definitely time well spent.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 18 Million
Meditation can help every single person who tries it because every single person experiences stressful moments. And in our hectic lives, tons of Americans are catching on. According to a National Health Interview Survey, some 18 million American adults relied on meditation in 2012 to help them cope with life’s stressors.
And we’re not just talking about mental health; meditation can have positive effects on physical health too. In fact, women who suffer from PMS showed vast improvement in their symptoms after just five months of daily meditation. Still not convinced? Meditation has also been shown to boost creativity, make us healthier, happier and even enable us to live longer!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Jamie Price, Co-founder and President of Stop, Breathe & Think
Meditation can be super intimidating, and maybe that’s why you haven’t tried it. Perhaps you assume you’ve got to spend 30 minutes sitting cross-legged on the floor, incense burning, listening to the repetitive soundtrack of a man saying, “Om.”
The truth is the best kind of meditation is simply the kind that works for you, whether that means sitting quietly and calmly for a few moments in bed when your morning alarm goes off, or lying peacefully in your outdoor hammock in the afternoon. Wherever you are on your meditation path, one terrific and helpful tool is the award-winning Stop, Breathe & Think app co-founded by today’s Woman to Watch, Jamie Price.
Jamie’s app is free, can be used just about anywhere and has been instrumental in allowing many, including myself, to find meditation more approachable and appealing. Users can choose from a curated list of meditation methods or begin by choosing emotions they’re feeling in the moment. Options vary from “great” to “rough,” and within those categories, users can choose emotions like “distracted” and “self-critical.” Then the app selects a handful of appropriate meditations ranging in length from a few minutes to about half an hour. And a really cool feature of the app is that it counts your progress, tracking your total time meditating and providing a visual guide of your emotional “settledness.”
Though Jamie is a devout meditator, before diving into the wellness world, she spent a great portion of her career in the law and banking industries, holding stressful positions that no doubt required a little meditation to maintain her sanity.
And in addition to co-founding Stop, Breathe & Think, for the past 16 years, Jamie has worked as the executive director of Tools for Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening and supporting emotional and social intelligence for youth and adults. The organization partners with more than 20 groups and schools to provide curriculum, after-school programs and summer camps that help educate young people about how to incorporate skills like meditation into their lives, with the ultimate goal of creating a more compassionate, gentler world. And that sounds like a worthy mission!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today, take five minutes for yourself. As author and self-help coach Debbie Ford says:
“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you. You only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.