In these trying times, it can be difficult to imagine what lies ahead when the future seems so uncertain. However, it’s important not to let your fears take control of you. Instead, take this downtime as an opportunity to reflect on how to pivot from here. By allowing yourself to sit with your thoughts, you’ll be able to reconnect with your inner wisdom and redefine your career if necessary. To that end, we recommend exploring two of the most powerful mindfulness practices: meditation and journaling.
Defining Meditation and Journaling
What is Meditation?
Contrary to popular misconception, meditating isn’t equivalent to sitting around doing nothing or taking a nap. It also shouldn’t be equated to simply turning off your thoughts or feelings. It’s also neither about shutting off your mind nor letting your thoughts drift away.
In truth,meditation requires that you learn how to rest in the here and now, fully engaging your senses with the present moment. Put simply, it is the act of observing your thoughts without judgment. By doing so, you may come to better understand them down the line.
What is Journaling?
Similar to meditation, journaling is more than just keeping a record of your day to day life. It is the act of labelling your emotions and acknowledging significant events, a way of re-arranging your thoughts and making sense of your experiences. By writing down what comes to your mind, you’re able to draw out and organise your subconscious thoughts onto paper. This gives abstract ideas a concrete form, making them easier to process.
The Benefits of Meditation and Journaling
Meditation and journaling have been linked to numerous physical health benefits. Meditation, in particular, has been found to greatly decrease your chances of developing serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. On the other hand, studies have shown that journaling can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system, and even cause wounds to heal more quickly.
Additionally, both meditation and journaling have been proven to improve mental health, easing the psychological symptoms of depression and anxiety. In terms of productivity, both have also been found to increase awareness and clarity of mind, improving your ability to focus. Best of all, these practices can help build your mental resilience and increase your life satisfaction, which is essential for getting through stressful life events.
Tips for Practicing Meditation and Journaling
While focusing on your own thoughts can be quite challenging, it’s certainly not impossible. As with other skills, they can be learned and honed with enough time and patience. Once you meditate and journal enough times, you’ll find that both get easier with practice.
Here are some more tips:
Try Shorter Sessions at the Start
The thought of writing several pages a day or meditating for an hour can seem daunting to many beginners. The good news is that you can dip your toes into the water, so to speak, by committing to the simplest outcome possible. This can mean writing only a paragraph instead of multiple pages or meditating for five minutes instead of sixty. Once you get the hang of it, you can slowly build up your practice over time.
Make It Your First Task of the Day
Try meditating and journaling first thing in the morning, before the rest of the house wakes up. This way, you can recharge and relax before the day becomes too hectic. It’s also a great way of getting into the proper mindset for the rest of the day.
Be Gentle with Yourself
If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you might find your mind wander every so often. Should this happen while you journal or meditate, don’t get mad at yourself. Instead, allow the frustration to pass and do your best to re-focus on the task at hand.
Make Yourself Comfortable
It’s hard to focus if your body starts to ache in the middle of your practice. Hence, take the time to experiment and figure out what makes you feel most comfortable. Some people prefer to sit on the floor, while others can only concentrate if they’re sitting in an ergonomic chair. However, make sure that you’re not too comfortable, or else you may end up falling asleep instead.
Truly, the positive effects of meditation and journaling cannot be understated. Hence, we highly recommend incorporating these practices into your daily life. By making them a part of your routine, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself and what you value the most. We hope that even in these uncertain times, these tools can help you find the right career path. Before long, we’re sure that you’ll find a new role that will let you shine.