When I was younger, I suffered from ADHD symptoms. I say suffered, I had a great time. I thoroughly enjoyed jumping over the child-safety stair guards and excitedly drawing my own masterpieces on to the freshly wallpapered walls - my parents however, not so much.
The only time I hated how much energy I had was just before I was about to go to sleep. It seemed that there would be so many thoughts and feelings bouncing around in my head that there was no possible way I'd be able to rest, regardless of how tired I was. And although I no longer think about childhood games and primary school lessons, my thoughts and energy can still affect my sleeping pattern.
Sometimes it's hard for me to "shut off" which is why one of my resolutions is to meditate more. "What? That thing where you close your eyes and hum for a bit?" Yes, that's the one! Except it's not quite as silly as the cartoons would have you believe.
When I was younger, I asked my Dad how he managed to get to sleep. Did he count sheep? Take medicine? I was dying to know the secrets of people that dozed off without struggle. He told me that he imagined a crisp blank piece of paper. My six year old brain couldn't comprehend this at all. How does a bit of paper get you to sleep at night?! What utter rubbish! But now I understand and it's brought me to meditation.
1. Meditation clears your thoughts, making you more peaceful!
Imagine your mind as a notebook and during the day it gets filled up with every thought and idea you have. It could be something in passing or something important that you dwell on but towards the end of the day, as you can imagine, the pages are cluttered with so many different doodles and words that it's hard to keep track of it all. Meditation helps you wipe the papers clean, leaving you feeling a lot more peaceful.
2. Increased creativity and less stress
The benefits are vast: less anxiety, increased focus and increased creativity just to name a few. There's even studies that show exactly what happens to your brain when you meditate. I'm hoping that the more I meditate, the more focused I'll become for my own projects outside of work such as blogging and writing my own stories. The fact that meditation in its most simple form forces you to allow thoughts to pass, it's been proven that people who practice meditation regularly are a lot less distracted. So maybe I will finish editing that novel after all! (Maybe...)
3. Increased positivity
And the best part of all, studies have suggested that meditation can make you more compassionate and emotionally intelligence towards others and yourself. This in turn can leave you feeling happy! What better reason to start meditating?
I'm no expert on the subject and am only just starting to learn. I'm still trying to fit in regular meditation sessions into my schedule but one of the great tools I've found is a mobile app called Headspace. If you're really unsure how to start, this is brilliant! There are 10 free sessions that will guide you through everything you need to know - and the instructors voice is smooth like butter. Very peaceful, indeed!
Let me know how you find it, or if you already meditate and have any tips!