What if you just can't get into meditation?

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For years I've espoused the benefits of meditation on the blog. I go through periods were I'll meditate every day for a week, and then I won't meditation for six months. My counselor encourages me every time I see her to start meditating again. She and I both know that it would significantly help my anxiety. Do I do it?

No.

I have a dozen really, really, great excuses as to why I don't. I'm too busy. I'm too tired. I'm too ____.

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Despite the abundance of scientific literature I've read showcasing the numerous physical and emotional benefits of a regular meditation practice I just can't get into a routine with it. My anxiety has skyrocketed postpartum. I needed to find a new way to deal with it naturally so when I got a chance to try out Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker I was thrilled. IMG_2509

Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker helps bring about mindfulness to everyday life. Mindfulness is the act of being aware. Of being mindful. When I was in graduate school I took a course on Buddhist Psychology and, in addition to meditation, we focused a lot on mindfulness.

So much of my anxiety comes from worrying about future events. I start to think about things I need to do, or situations I will be in (like flying with a baby) and before I know it my heart rate is elevated and I'm short tempered with Travis. It's not fun. One thing that helps significantly is simply becoming aware when anxious thoughts start to take over. Then, I can take a step back, breathe, and refocus.

I'm becoming much better about being mindful of my thoughts, but Spire helps by alerting me when my breathing becomes to quick. You wear Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker on your pants or bra, and it tracks your breathing. When you download the app there are lots of short breathing exercises you can do to help you become mindful of your breath. IMG_5302

It will give you an overall report on how tense or calm you day was. It also tracks your activity. The features are increadible:

  • It has integrated, calendar, location and photos. These integrations give users context into their well-being by syncing with their location, calendar, and photos, to provide greater insights into where, what and why they are experiencing periods of tension, calm or focus.
  • Spire’s platform learns to anticipate stressful events before they are likely to happen and alert users with actionable insights on how to prepare and experience more calm in their life.
  • Spire makes mindfulness more attainable by alerting users in-the-moment and suggests breathing exercises and meditations to lead to a more mindful behavior change be it a calmer and focused state or even becoming more active. IMG_5465

I wasn't sure if it was working one night as I hadn't felt it vibrate in a while, but as soon as Travis walked in the front door I felt it vibrating and started laughing. I told him just the sight of him caused my anxiety to skyrocket. (I was really anxious about was him waking up the baby as he was coming home from running errands and little man was already in bed.) 

At almost a year postpartum I'm feeling much more like myself, and I'm looking forward to getting a better handle on my stress and anxiety in the coming months. As I mentioned earlier this week I won't be training for any long distance races for a while, and that's actually been a big source of stress for me lately. I'll continue working out, eating well (80% of the time) and trying to be more mindful throughout the day of my anxious thoughts and how they relate to my breathing. IMG_1372 What's your favorite way to cope with anxiety? I need more ideas!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.