I've always wanted to be great at meditating. Every time an Instagram post popped up of an influencer sitting with their eyes closed, looking so relaxed and Zen, I wanted that to be me. Unfortunately, after many failed attempts, I kind of just gave up.
Whenever I tried meditating, it would go a little something like this: I would sit down in a quiet space—sometimes even with a crystal in hand!—and close my eyes. But instead of becoming calm, I'd mostly just think about everything that was still on my to-do list, or the groceries I needed to pick up from the store. But over the course of the past five days, that's changed.
Here's what happened when I meditated for five days in a row—and exactly what I learned from the experience.
I'm just going to say it—today wasn't easy. I tried to meditate with nothing more than the sound of my air conditioner running in the background, and my mind was everywhere. I mean, at one point, I was thinking about what I was going to make for dinner. Even though I was certainly distracted by my thoughts, spending those brief five minutes breathing calmly with my eyes closed made me feel more relaxed by the time I opened my eyes again.
Today, I decided I couldn't just meditate on my own—I needed some assistance. I knew Ten Spot had a live guided meditation on the calendar, so I joined and sat there quietly, listening to the instructor along with everyone else who wanted to bring some calmness to their day. The instructor's voice was so soothing, and listening to her throughout the session kept my mind so much more on-track.
After yesterday's success, I decided to do another guided meditation. This time, I utilized Ten Spot's on-demand videos and selected one of the past meditation sessions. As I listened to the instructor, I felt like I was really starting to get the hang of this meditation thing. And instead of wondering how much time had gone by during it, the ding of the bell surprised me that it was already over.
Ever since I started meditating, I've felt this weird calmness. Things that would normally upset me or bother me aren't even affecting me as much, and my stress level is noticeably lower. Because of that, I didn't want to stop my meditation streak and pulled up a video on YouTube. This time—despite there being minimal talking from the instructor—I was able to keep my thoughts to a minimum.
Today, I decided to try meditating on my own with a peaceful soundtrack playing in the background. After setting the timer on my phone for 10 minutes, I closed my eyes, took deep inhales and exhales, and focused on relaxing my body as much as possible. Now, I'm not going to lie—I still had thoughts pop up. But unlike before I started this journey, I had a completely different mindset about it.
Meditating isn't about perfection—not even a little bit. Even the most experienced meditators have drifting thoughts. Something I learned from the guided meditation instructors is that the key is simply bringing those thoughts back to center whenever you do find yourself drifting. Even though I opened my eyes knowing exactly what I needed from the grocery store (hey, I tried my best!), I still felt less stressed, less anxious, and incredibly calm. And that was really all I wanted in the first place.