Just out of curiosity: Do you constantly doubt yourself and the decisions you make? Do you ask yourself “what if” often? Do you change your mind multiple times before settling on a decision? WELL YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then, chances are… you are indecisive!
Dun, dun, dunnnnn.
The good news is, we have just the solution for you!
It may sound simple, but it is certainly not easy (mothers, college students, and pet owners may find this to be especially difficult.)
I PINKY promise you, though, that if you start a meditation practice to improve your decision making skills (or even just to enjoy the mindfulness that comes from the practice), it will be well worth it…. and everyone knows all universal laws require that a pinky promise be kept no matter the circumstances…. So, you can trust me on this one.
(DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor, nor an expert on anything except maybe procrastination and sarcasm. Please seek the guidance of a professional if you have serious concerns.)
I am going to take the next paragraph or so to explain how meditation works, so if your eyes are going to glaze over while reading a how-to piece, then just skip this paragraph all together… You can Youtube it or something.
HOW TO MEDITATE… AND MORE IMPORTANTLY: HOW TO FIT MEDITATION INTO YOUR EVERYDAY SCHEDULE
- Get comfortable..throw on some comfy sweatpants, a big hoodie, put your hair up, make a cup of tea, just RELAX.
- Grab a small pillow, blanket, or yoga block AKA a prop (LINGO LESSON: I will refer to blankets and pillows used in meditation as props from now on) to sit on.
- Sit cross legged on your prop, lay your hands on your thighs or knees.
- Close your eyes.
- JUST BREATHE.
On days when I am especially distracted or anxious, I like to repeat a phrase over and over again in my head that reminds me to focus on my breathing. Some phrases that I like to use are:
“Now I’m breathing in… Now I’m breathing out.”
“In with the good, out with the bad.”
“I am breathing in LOVE, I am breathing out PEACE.”
Whatever you want to repeat in your head that will remind you to breathe deeply will do!
OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Invest in a mala bracelet (Click mala beadshere to buy one for like 10 bucks). Mala bracelets are used to help you focus on your breathing by counting each bead as you breathe. Plus, they look cool as fuck.
Sounds simple enough right? Now, here’s the hard part. ACTUALLY DOING IT. EVERY DAY.
Here is my one step system to incorporating meditation into your daily routine:
Wake. Up. 15. Minutes. Early.
THAT’S IT. Sounds impossible, I know.. Trust me- I LOVE MY SLEEP. Before you tell me I’m crazy and unsubscribe from my blog- listen up to this tiny little eensy weensy secret that may change your mind…. (10 minutes of meditation can and WILL make you feel more awake and alert than 15 extra minutes of sleep.)
Don’t go telling the world, sheesh. JUST KIDDING. Of course I’m kidding guys… GO TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW. Start a meditation movement. Bring some peace into this crazy world… Or don’t. Just start by doing it yourself. That is more than enough.
Take 5 minutes to roll out of bed, stumble into the bathroom, brush your tea, make a cup of tea, whatever… And then once you are comfortable, set a timer for 10 minutes (preferably a timer that will sound like a bell, or chime, or harp, or something soothing when it goes off), and just breathe.
“By quieting my mind, I allow answers to arise from within.”
THOSE OF YOU WHO COULDN’T HANDLE READING THE HOW-TO SECTION CAN WAKE UP NOW.. I’m back!
At this point you may be thinking to yourself “Well, Ashlee, that is all well and good… But what in the world does meditation have to do with me being indecisive? How in gods name is sitting on my butt for 10 minutes going to help me make a very important decision?” I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED. Here are the top 5 ways that meditation has helped me to be a better decision maker.
- Meditating allows you to destress. When stress is removed from the decision making process, it is easier to understand what the actual issue is and what you truly believe to be the best way to solve it. It takes away the pressure of outside influences while also allowing us to let go of our biases and pre judgements on a certain topic. While doing my research I found this article based off a research study that found when we are stressed, we tend to look for all the positives in the situation and avoid the negatives. Think about when you are stressed and REALLY want to eat a pan full of rich, fudgey brownies… It is much easier to see the positive outcomes of eating those delectable treats than the negatives, but we all know which is the better decision… I’ve never eaten a pan full of brownies after a good meditation sesh… just sayin’.
- Meditating allows you to listen to your body. There is a strong connection between mental thoughts and physical reactions. Haven’t you ever gotten butterflies from being nervous? Shivered with fear? An increased heart-rate caused by excitement? If you give yourself the time and space to meditate deeply, you will start to understand how your body reacts to your emotions. And when those thoughts or questions creep into your mind during meditation (which they inevitably will), the physical and emotional feelings that involuntarily consume you will explain much more than you could have imagined.
- Meditating allows you to understand how every decision you’ve made has led you to where you are. Most decisions are made using our subconscious mind. Most of our day is spent doing things out of habit which allows us to stay comfortable and maintain normalcy. However, if we are not aware of this, then these seemingly small decisions we make everyday would go unnoticed and we may assume that they do not play a role in where we are at in our life. By meditating, your mind can start to create connections that may point out bad habits, toxic behaviors, unhealthy relationships, and so on which are holding you back. When these things are apparent, it makes decision making significantly easier.
- Meditating allows thoughts to organically occur. On one hand, it may seem that the point of meditation is to push away all of your thoughts and just focus on your breathing and be with yourself. Just as sleep gives your physical self the time to recharge, recuperate, and rest, meditation serves this same purpose for your mental and spiritual self. More often than not, especially in the beginning, thoughts will creep into your mind whether you want them to or not. Be aware of those thoughts and then gently push them away. They can wait until you are done meditating. BUT, do not forget about them. Those thoughts that creep into your mind uncontrollably should not be ignored.
- Meditating allows you to become more attuned to your intuition. It is said that “meditation cleanses the doors of perceptions.” This is absolutely necessary to become sensitive enough to listen to our intuition. We live in a world that makes us hard, that distracts us, that keeps up busy and stressed. Would you argue with me if I said that this is not the best environment to nourish your mind, body, or soul? I didn’t think so…. It is absolutely necessary to disconnect from the chaos of the world- to quiet your mind and expand your awareness… even if it is just for 10 minutes a day.
I am not an expert, and I will never claim to know more than I do. All I can say is that meditation has been utilized for generations. The majority of the most peaceful, successful, and happy people in our history practiced meditation in one form or the other. I have not sat down and done extensive research and poured over countless studies. I just had faith in the practice and gave it a shot. The personal results that I have found from my meditation practice are all I need to continue to incorporate it into my everyday routine and to want to share it with others. It has helped me through a lot of personal struggles in the past year and has allowed me to make sound, thought-out decisions in multiple areas of my life. Has every decision I’ve made using this practice to guide me been the “right” decision? I cannot say that for sure… But I would bet, that when I look back in hindsight, every decision I have made will have been exactly the one I was supposed to make and will lead me to exactly where I need to be.
Getting to know yourself and spending time with yourself may be the most beneficial thing you can do to improve your well-being. What an incredible epiphany it was when I realized that I barely knew myself and didn’t understand why I did certain things in my life. Have you ever felt like that? For me, meditation was only the beginning of a lifelong journey to be my own best friend. Please share your thoughts, questions, and concerns in the comments section below. Remember, this is a blog ABOUT me but FOR you.