I challenge you to 10 minutes of meditation daily for one week.
The reason it’s a “challenge” is because it’s not going to be easy. We each have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day? That’s between 35 and 48 thoughts per person a minute!
I have read an entire book on mindfulness and meditation and still struggle with the practice. I’ve also practiced moving meditation in my yoga practice for close to 10 years and sometimes find my mind wandering off during class. It’s called meditation practice for a reason. Over time it gets easier, but it still requires your attention and effort on an ongoing basis.
Let’s start with just one week of regular meditation to slow down your flurry of thoughts and quiet mind your mind.
Think You’re Multi-tasking? Think Again
Researchers say the ability to multi-task is a myth — and they have the data to prove it.
According to MIT Neuroscience Professor Earl Miller, for the most part, we simply can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. “The brain is very good at deluding itself,” he adds.
What we can do, he says, is shift our focus from one thing to the next with astonishing speed. There are several reasons the brain has to switch among tasks. One is that similar tasks compete to use the same part of the brain.
Our frontal lobes help control this constant shifting as we take on new tasks, which can be extremely draining. Meditation helps us to reduce our overthinking and focus our mind.
The Health Benefits of Meditation
Studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others. There’s also research to suggest that meditation can reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health.
The Huffington Post illustrates how your body responds to meditation:
(illustration via Huffington Post)
The 10 Minute Meditation Challenge
This is your opportunity to finally give meditation a try, or to revisit it if you haven’t tried it in a while.
I challenge you to commit to seven days of practicing meditation for just 10 minutes a day.
Learn to Meditate for Just 10 Minutes a Day
- Choose a time in your current schedule that best allows for 10 minutes of quiet meditation. For me, it’s when I get home around 6 p.m., after I take my dog Izzie out for a walk.
- Find a quiet place in a calm environment. I’m blessed to live near the ocean in La Jolla, Calif., where I can close my eyes and hear the waves crashing on the cliffs. If you live in a crowded home, find a quiet bedroom. Live near a park? Find an empty bench.
- Get comfortable yet remain active. You are not required to meditate cross-legged on the floor. You can meditate anywhere you can get comfortable and still remain active enough to focus. I usually sit cross legged in the grass or straight up on a park bench. If it doesn’t make you too sleepy, you can try laying flat on the ground.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes. This is crucial. If you don’t set a timer, you’ll be checking your phone and worrying about the time. I use the clock app on my iPhone and pick a soothing sound for the alert.
- Close your eyes. You’ll immediately notice the noisy thoughts crowding your head. Begin to focus only on your breathing. Block out the thoughts as they fight for your attention. Exhale everything out.
- Seal your lips and begin breathing through your nose only. Think about your breath as it’s entering and leaving through the nose. Continue to take nice slow inhales and exhales, never rushing the breath.
- Fight past your distractions to get to a peaceful place. Getting distracted by your thoughts is completely normal and will most likely happen. Keep returning your focus to your breath. You will have to do this over and over again throughout the 10 minutes. It is the part of the practice. As you do this repeatedly you will notice your mind starts getting quieter until, hopefully, it arrives to a peaceful place. This state of silent bliss is the ultimate payoff when you master meditation.
- After 10 minutes, your meditation practice is complete! By the time the alarm goes off, this practice will seriously quiet the mind and leave you feeling focused. I often get my most creative ideas following successful meditation.
Commit to trying this for seven days straight and see how you feel. Let me know you’re taking the challenge by posting a comment below or by sharing your results using #10MMC.
I would love to hear about your results!