I Was Skeptical About Meditating So I Tried It For 30 Days, and This Is What I Think About It

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Young woman practicing lotus position with friend on porch. Multi-ethnic females are meditating in yoga class. They are in sports clothing.

If you would've asked me what I thought about meditation three months ago, I would've said something along the lines of, "I wish I could get into it, but it's not my thing." I had tried meditating a handful of times, but I didn't like it. I couldn't focus, and I didn't feel any different. I'd find myself randomly trying it when I felt like my day-to-day was getting out of control, expecting to instantaneously feel better and enlightened, so of course, when that didn't happen, I was over it.

About a month ago, I began to feel extra anxious and overwhelmed. I felt like I was getting pulled in every direction, doing too much, and on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. In those moments, I turn to therapy, family, friends, music, and everything else that helps ground me and makes me feel calm, but I still felt uneasy.

Around the same time, I decided to try to meditate again. To avoid repeating my unsuccessful and inconsistent attempts, I challenged myself to meditate for 10 minutes a day for one week straight. The first week wasn't bad, but it also wasn't easy. Ten minutes is a short period of time, especially when you're mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, but trying to be still, present, and calm for 10 minutes was hard.

After the first week of meditating, I noticed it was beginning to feel slightly easier, and I think this was because it was becoming part of my routine. I also found myself more willing to commit to meditating because I used the Muse 2 meditation device, which tracks your brainwaves and lets you know your brain's activity (calm, neutral, and active) as you meditate. This was helpful for me, especially in the beginning, because when the soundscape got louder, I knew I needed to regain focus.

Because the first week felt good, I challenged myself to shoot for two weeks. On day 10, I really felt a shift. Yes, my nonbelieving self felt a shift. I didn't suddenly feel enlightened and stress-free, but I did feel like I could cope better. I still had the same issues and stressors, but they didn't feel as heavy and as intense as before. They didn't feel debilitating, they were just there. I'm not a meditation pro, but from my understanding, that's the point of meditation. Learning how to let your emotions, thoughts, and distractions exist and to be aware of them without having an immediate response or reaction. Because of this feeling, I began to research the benefits of meditation and was really sold and motivated to keep going.

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