As discussed in Episode 36 of the Wise Eats Podcast:
Christmas is a staple, but again, today I would never eat anything fried like
crab rangoons, or even Chinese for that matter. It’s really the worst of the
worst. Just a combination of trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated
oils, MSG, sugar, and refined flours. These days, I don’t even mess with
Chinese, but here is a recipe that is just as good, if not better, than sweet n’
In this episode, we’re talking meditation! As part of my New Years’ resolution for 2020, I meditated for at least 5 minutes every single day for two months. I’ll be sharing the results, the benefits of meditation, and my 10-minute meditation routine. All of this and more in Episode 34! Namaste, wise guys and gals!
What’s up wise guys and gals? I’m former fat guy and certified fitness coach Wes Wise, and today and I want to talk to you all about meditation. As part of my new year’s resolution for 2020, I meditated at least 5 minutes every single day for 2 months and want to share the results. I can’t believe it’s already time to make resolutions for 2021, but here we are! Let’s get to the show. It’s time to wise up.
Why I Decided to Meditate
I decided to mediate after hearing so much about the
benefits for years. I also knew there were holes in my consciousness that
meditation might help with. Many days, I start off the day feeling wired. I’m a
high energy guy and usually get off to an intense start. So, if a meditation
practice could bring peace to my morning and potentially reduce stress overall,
who wouldn’t be up for that? So, let’s get into the results of my meditation
experience, but before we do, please remember to like the video, subscribe, and
share it with a friend or family member you think could benefit from it. I
truly appreciate it. And with that said, let’s get into meditation. It’s time
to wise up.
Benefits of Meditation
First off,there are a ton of supposed benefits for
meditation, such as reducing stress, controlling anxiety, improving memory,
sleep, willpower, and enhancing self-awareness.
Promotes Emotional Health
Helps Maintain and Re-Direct Attention
Improves Memory and Mental Clarity
Increases Positivity, Empathy, and Compassion
Develops Mental Discipline and Willpower
Diminishes Perception of Pain
Lowers Blood Pressure (Thorpe, 2020).
Did I Experience Any of These Benefits? Absolutely!
Honestly, in the beginning, I was very skeptical. Some days,
I thought to myself this isn’t going anywhere, it’s a waste of time. Other
days, the commitment seemed to have a profound effect on my mood and
performance. Overall, I can say that I experienced many benefits and meditation
is the real deal.
My Thoughts on the Headspace App
For my daily meditation, I used the Headspace app and highly
recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable guided meditation. It is free to
try, but you have to pay for it if you want access to more sessions. There are
options ranging anywhere from 5-20 minutes. The 5 and 10-minute sessions were
very doable, but the 15- and 20-minute sessions were extremely challenging to
stick with. 5 minutes is more than doable for any human, in my opinion, and 10
minutes seems to be my sweet spot.
Developing the Habit
I thought it might be difficult to incorporate meditation
consistently, but it really wasn’t, especially when starting at only 5 minutes.
By lumping it in with my daily morning practice of journaling and hydration, it
was easy finding time to do it.
I will admit, however, that once I got into the 10, 15, and 20-minute
meditations, it became increasingly tough to hang with it. Some days, I’d be
fully submerged in the meditation and get in deep. Other times, my mind would
race so much I wasn’t sure if I even meditated at all. Each day is different so
just hang in there and stay consistent with it.
Overcoming Anxiety and Reducing Stress
The biggest benefit I believe I gained from meditation was
reduced stress and anxiety. I battled anxiety for many years, so I fully
understand the power it holds over our mind and emotions. I initially treated
it with diet and exercise, but briefly turned to medications like Xanax because
I was so desperate to cure it. Over time, I was able to beat anxiety through
living a healthy lifestyle. Looking back, I wish I had used meditation to help.
Although I don’t deal with intense anxiety anymore, meditation
absolutely helped me release normal tension that I still feel on a day to day
basis. I can specifically recall one day driving home from work recently when the
realization hit me, “I actually DON’T feel tense right now”. During many
drives home at the end of a workday, I would have this general sense of tension
in my chest. Not because my day had been particularly stressful; it was simply
an overall feeling of pressure that wouldn’t fade until I got home. Since I
started getting more headspace, I have found that this sensation no longer
exists. I also feel less stress and tension, in general.
Reducing stress through meditation goes far beyond the few
minutes you spend doing it each day. The practice teaches you to check-in with
your body frequently and to be conscious of how you’re feeling, how you’re
breathing, and your mental state. That moment of presence helps calm the mind
and get back to that sense of relaxation you achieved during your meditation.
This is key to unlocking all of those amazing benefits like happiness,
emotional health, anxiety, and self-awareness.
Another huge benefit I saw was improving sleep because it teaches
you methods to use in those moments where you need to get your body into rest
mode. Previously, my mind would wander, and I would overthink myself into
restlessness. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to shut my
mind off due to something that was bothering me, a project I needed to finish,
or even food cravings. Now, I take a few deep breaths, use some simple
meditation techniques, and I’m out like a light! Gaining more control of my
sleep is a priceless side effect of meditation.
Many of the other benefits of meditation are intangible. I
simply believe it has helped my life in ways I can’t quantify. My days just seemed
to just flow easier; I felt less distracted, more focused, and more grateful. Getting
over that initial resistance toward sitting and doing “nothing” for a period of
time is difficult at first, but I believe it’s the antidote many of us need in
our lives. It could very well be the key that unlocks a new chapter of
awareness in your life, which is a benefit that cannot be measured.
With all of that said, let’s jump into a few quick
meditation tips and outline of my 10-minute meditation practice.
Try to meditate first thing in the morning. Some
practices say it’s especially beneficial to meditate twice a day. Once in the
morning and once in the evening.
Meditate before having any caffeine, working
out, or eating a heavy meal.
Meditate for as long as you can handle, but some
experts say that 20 minutes is the sweet spot for maximal benefits.
Find a secluded spot to meditate and limit
distractions as much as possible.
Sit upright in a comfortable position, but do
not lie down.
There are many forms of meditation, such as
mindfulness, focused spiritual, and transcendental. Regardless of the method,
meditation allows you to achieve a unique state of consciousness known as
restful alertness, where the mind is awake, but the body is in deep rest. By
practicing regularly, we can free our nervous system from stress and achieve a
meditative state even when we’re not meditating.
What Meditation Looks Like
For anyone who has never meditated before and isn’t sure
what to expect, here’s a quick rundown of what a 10-minute meditation looks
like for me:
Time: First thing in the morning
Location: Usually my living room
(Preferably a quiet, distraction-free place)
Position: Sitting upright in a
comfortable chair, feet on the floor, hands resting in the lap
Start by briefly reflecting on why you want to
meditate and your intentions for the day.
Close your eyes and take 3-5 big, deep breaths,
in through the nose, out through the mouth, loud enough so that someone close
by would be able to hear you breathing. Focus your attention on the lungs
filling with air and the body softening as you release.
After 3-5 big breaths, allow your breath to
return to its natural rhythm.
Next, focus your attention on the weight of your
body resting on the chair. Feet on the floor. Hands resting comfortably. Where
do you feel contact the most? The least?
Briefly listen for any sounds. Notice them and
be aware of them.
Next, focus your attention on how your body
feels. Overall sense of comfort or discomfort?
Then, mentally scan your entire body from the
top of the head down to the toes, paying attention to each area of the body and
how it’s feeling. Don’t dwell on any discomfort but simply acknowledge it.
Now, switch attention back to the breath. Focus
on the rising and falling sensations. Follow the natural rhythm of the breath
for a few moments.
Begin to count the breaths 1 in, 2 out, 3 in, 4
out, and so on, up to the count of 10, then restart. Repeat this process for
several minutes (Note: It’s very easy to become distracted while doing
this. When you realize your mind has wandered off, simply return your attention
back to where you left off in the meditation).
Finally, let go of your focus completely. Allow
your mind to be free and don’t try to control it. If it wants to think, let it
think, if not just let it float out into space.
Finish the meditation by bringing your attention
back to the physical senses. The points of contact between you, the chair, and
the floor. Noticing any sounds, strong smells, or tastes. Open your eyes.
How did you feel during the meditation today?
Results will vary day to day. Just keep showing up and stay consistent with it!
So, that’s gonna do it for Episode 34. I highly recommend taking
the time to sit and calm the mind because it helps you reach a baseline of
relaxation for a great starting point to the day. I’m by no means an expert on
meditation but have learned enough at this point to know it’s something I
absolutely will continue doing and learn more about. As an expectant father and
COVID-19 pandemic survivor, I understand the value of using meditation to
reduce stress and achieve mental clarity. I don’t do it every day and I still
don’t have the patience to sit for a full 20-minutes. 10 minutes is just fine
for me, for now. But even just that small commitment has made a big impact on
my life, and I believe it can help you, as well. So, give it a shot! Meditation
may be the physical and mental health game changer that you need to transform
your life today. So, with that said, namaste my friends, and until next time,
make wise choices.