I’ve had some feedback recently about the fact that Doctors have been prescribing meditation to help improve mental health. I was asked if I have some tips in terms of when this feels impossible, perhaps the mind is racing or you feel like you have too much on your plate. I gave a bit of a pep talk about this on the podcast recently, tune in here.
My top tips for when you find meditation too hard would be –
Rocking chairs – Remember that meditation is more than sitting in a lotus position with your eyes closed. Some people find the act of simply rocking back and forward on a rocking chair very soothing. It’s a chance to slow down the mind and stop.
Water – Being in the water naturally soothes us. I love a warm bath or swimming in the sea or a loch/lake (easier in Summer because you can stay in much longer). This is one of my favourite forms of meditation. It’s something that always gives me instant peace and calm and I go ahhhhhhhh and relax. It’s magic.
Running – Although my body is on the go, I find running a great way to practise a bit of mindful movement. Plus, it helps me to sleep better.
Tree bathing – Walking or cycling in the woods/forest is an amazing way to slow down the mind.
That is all pretty surface level advice and you know that I like to dive in a little deeper every now and again. A lot of people I hear from tell me that they struggle to say no to things. Sometimes it’s due to an unconscious need to people please, which comes down to our self esteem. We don’t want to let people down, we may fear that we will be deemed as not good enough, perhaps not committed enough. Sometimes success is saying no and feeling fine with it. On that note, let’s explore success for a few minutes. When we know what success means to us, we can then put boundaries in place. We simply need to make the time for it.
I love this pie chart. I’ve heard many other definitions of success during my interviews. Below are some of my favourites.
Success is knowing what you want.
Success is having healthy boundaries.
Success is knowing when you have to take a holiday.
Success is the ability to put your phone away and take a screen detox.
Success is our ability to fall asleep feeling peace of mind.
Success is waking up feeling excited.
Success is not dreading a Monday.
Success is being present with loved ones.
Success is our ability to give over control, to delegate, perhaps for the sake of our health.
Success is living with an open mind.
Success is the ability to be yourself.
Success is contentment.
Success is having a positive mental attitude.
Success is integrity.
Success is making time for joy.
It can be hard to get off the busy train when it’s racing at full pelt. My gentle reminder is that it’s important to get off that train before it crashes hard. If your GP is prescribing you meditation, yoga or other relaxing activities, I would take that as a very clear sign to give yourself permission to slow down. It’s not until you really stop and take a break, that you will have time to tune into your body and what it really needs. This will often involve a bit of a wake up call when it comes to our boundaries. Creating healthy boundaries is so important, be that physically, energetically or emotionally. The act of setting boundaries is an essential part of our self care. It helps to protect our self- esteem, relationships and ultimately our time. A lack of clear boundaries can push us into depression, anxiety or stress-induced mental or physical illness. So get clear on what your boundaries are. What works for you? Where do you get your mojo injections and slot these into the diary like your life depends on it. Make time for joy.
Last week, on podcast episode 135, I spoke with Alejandro the CSO of the popular new mental health tracking app @umoreaiapp – from mindfulness to progressive muscle relaxation, sleep hygiene, breathing exercises and positive psychology- there are SO many tools available to us. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to try a bit of a mix to see what works. We are all so different. A great starting point is to prioritise time to get still every day and know when it’s time to slow down. That’s when we can tune into our body and what it really needs. It will also give you time to think about what you would really like to try. I can highly recommend cold water swimming. I was scared at first but with consistency, it brought me so much joy. Now, it is simply a regular part of my life. Something I make time for and help to raise awareness about because I am so passionate about it and the research speaks for itself. On that note, I’m off for a swim! You got this.
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular speaker on BBC Radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people. She has a huge passion for helping people to get their mojo back.
Contact her at – firstname.lastname@example.org or across social @jojofrasermojo