According to the CDC, 14% of Americans are meditating, up from 4% in 2012. For the purpose of this blog post, I will use “meditation” and “mindfulness” to describe a practice where one intentionally focuses on the present moment through breath, music, a meditation app, etc.
Oftentimes my type A friends and high achieving colleagues will say, “I can’t be still,” or “That feels uncomfortable,” or “I’m too go, go, go!” This is when I Iove to share that mindfulness is my SUPER TOOL!
And for those of you reading, it may seem obvious that it comes naturally for your local resilience coach. But let me share my journey to mindfulness from the lens of a fellow type A perfectionist, why it’s my super tool and the benefits for an on-the-go person!
I have tried meditation, mindfulness or deep breathing since 2009 when panic attacks started increasing in frequency. It was a year after I lost my cousin to brain cancer, college courses intensified, and my house had been robbed at college. I was a mess of grief and anxiety, tied up in perfectionism and go-go-go tendencies. When I was checked out by a primary care doctor, she didn’t have many tools to share except to try deep breathing. She also suggested an anxiety med and sent me on my way.
“Great,” I thought. Focus on breathing. The very thing that kicked in my panic attacks.
I’ll save you the long story, but it took me 7 years of making healthier lifestyle choices and working with a holistic occupational therapist (OT) from the Cities to begin to understand the value of meditation or mindfulness and how to use it.
It wasn’t until 2020 that I really learned to integrate this tool into a more regular practice with the help of biofeedback and individualizing it for my on-the-go, fast paced life and schedule. Now that I know I don’t need to stress if I can’t meditate for 30 minutes to gain the benefits, and that I don’t need to do it in silence or “clear my mind,” I love sharing this tool with anyone and everyone who will listen.
Here are the top 5 reasons I love and benefit from a regular mindfulness practice in my life:
- Mindfulness helps me shift out of [over]thinking mode and into BEING mode, where I’m not lost in my thoughts or checking off tasks on my to do list. It helps me just BE in my body in this present moment.
- It is known to decrease stress, improve concentration & memory, and can help with sleep and anxiety, as well as depression management.
- It is a tool you can do anywhere, anytime, with many variations and styles. You can use it wherever and whenever you need it!
- It’s a great way to connect to yourself and your inner knowing. It helps with decision-making or tapping into your inner wise self.
- It slows down time, reminding you to enjoy this moment. We often lose ourselves, thinking about the past or the future. Mindfulness will help you be present to THIS moment so you can simply be.
Ready to find more joy, stress less, draw a stronger connection to your wise self and have a tool you can use anywhere?
Great! Join me on Oct. 28th at St. Mary’s University-Rochester campus to learn more about mindfulness and how to use it in your busy routines. If you can’t attend in person, ask me about the Mindfulness for Busy Minds on-demand webinar.
As a place to start or to prep for the class check out: Meditation Guide for Busy Minds
Meditate with Maria here: Mindful Breathing with Essential Oils | with Maria Serbus
Learn more about the fall resilience workshops & sign up at: mariaserbus.com/classes
Maria Serbus is the CEO & resilience coach at Maria Serbus, LLC. She helps high-achieving women overcome stress & overwhelm through mind-body tools so they can pursue an extraordinary life while being present to everyday moments that matter. www.mariaserbus.com | @maria.serbus | firstname.lastname@example.org