The art of Meditation is old.
We’re talkin’ up to 1,500 years BCE old. During this time in history, while Aesop was fable-ing or Socrates was thinking, ancient figures like Buddha were forming the foundations of meditation. Fast forward to the current day and you will find millions of people around the globe reaping the benefits of this ancient practice.
If you don’t already, you can start meditating today fairly easily. It is a common practice to either start or end the day with mediation. There is a long list of benefits including mental clarity, stress relief, and general organization of thought. Specifically for creatives, mediation can help to set the stage for a productive day or help to sort through your ideas for your next creation.
A Note for Beginners
The practice of meditation can seem daunting. However, you can start with something as little as 3-5 minutes per meditation session to begin, just focusing on your breathing. It can be hard, at first, to escape your thoughts or pondering what you are going to do once you’re finally done thinking about stuff. Don’t get discouraged. You should get better at it each time, and if you do it consistently you could reap some serious benefits.
If you are still questioning it, start with posing this question to yourself. What do I have to lose? 3-5 minutes a day for a couple of weeks? You probably spend more time day-dreaming or deciding which Netflix show to binge. You can do this!
Why Creatives Should Start the Day with Meditation
It’s possible that you may be more alert or productive in the morning. We call you mystical creatures “morning people”. Bless your soul. If waking up a few minutes earlier doesn’t really affect you, that’s the perfect opportunity to start your day with meditation! It could also be the only time you can find in a busy schedule full of previous commitments. Successful figures such as Oprah and Kobe Bryant set aside time in the morning for mindfulness and meditation. There’s no doubt that those two are extremely busy on a day-to-day basis. However, they value meditation enough to make time for it first thing in the morning. Need some guidance? Emily Abbate at Self.com wrote this awesome post about starting her morning meditation routine.
Why Creatives Should End the Day with Meditation
Before we get too far, defining “end” can get tricky. Experts recommend that you meditate at the end of your work day and not right before bed. According to Psychology Today, “Avoid meditating too close to bedtime so that doesn’t become confused with relaxing into sleep. In meditation, we’re practicing the opposite—falling more fully awake.”
Once you determine what “end of the day” means for you, you can start trying to meditate during that time. Benefits include helping to unwind the day and sort through all of the events that occurred. Achieving mental clarity often means examining the day’s events and just being present in the current moment. You made it to the end of the day. It’s very possible that you NEED to meditate after a day filled with tasks.
To start, try sitting down when you get home and taking a few minutes to focus on breathing. After setting the stage, you can review the day’s events in your mind. Don’t spend too much time thinking about any single event. Once you have gotten through everything that happened, take the time to be present in the current moment.
Whether you are starting or ending your day with meditation, you will feel the difference. Your thoughts should become clearer and more intentional. You will be able to handle stress in a more healthy and sustainable way. You can do both and bookend your day with meditation. If you are just starting, try one or the other. Whichever time of day fits your schedule best is usually a good place to begin. Whatever you end up doing, remember this: Keep kicking ass.