Stress is real. You know what I mean—maybe your mind goes a million miles a minute or the stressors of the day seem to mount an attack before you can even get started. I know for me, in the rat race of the produce business (or any business, for that matter), the days can be long and filled with frenetic activity.
I think many people have a hard time sleeping at night or are restless when thinking about their next day, so they roll out of bed in the morning and rush to get to their day of work. That’s one way to handle stress.
But I’ve found a different way to start my day.
It’s a practice I started almost four years ago, and that is daily meditation.
A friend of mine shared an app with me at that time produced by Deepak Chopra in collaboration with Oprah Winfrey (Chopra Meditation & Well-being) and it is a 20-minute guided meditation. Perhaps you are aware that there are now many phone apps you can use to help with meditation, such as the Peloton app, Calm, Headspace, and mindful.org to name a few. I’ve found it makes meditation so much easier when you have a ready-to-use coach at hand (the app).
So, this is the way I start my day:
- Alarm goes off at 5:00 a.m. My goal is to get up when the alarm goes off, but on occasion, I do hit the snooze button. But I’ve found I end up feeling more rested when I get up the first time the alarm goes off.
- After brushing my teeth, etc., I start my pot of coffee. While the coffee is brewing, I do some simple and light stretching exercises for my hamstrings and feet.
- Then I grab my cup of coffee, sit on the couch, and launch my meditation app. The Chopra app is about 10 minutes of introduction, then about 10 minutes of music, during which you repeat the mantra of the day in your head with your eyes closed.
- When my meditation is complete, I open my eyes, and then take my resting heart rate on another app called “heart rate free”, which gives me a sense of my calmness level. Funny thing is, I can tell by my resting heart rate if I let my thoughts distract me during my meditation! If I was fully absorbed in my meditation practice, my heart rate is lower.
If you are looking for more calmness in your life and the opportunity to have some quiet time where your mind is free from thoughts, give meditation a try. With the plethora of apps available via our smart phones, it is actually super easy to implement. And, even though you may have to set your alarm 20–30 minutes earlier than usual to accommodate the period of time set aside for meditation, I think you will find that you start your day off with more energy, plus you’ll sleep better at night.