Meditation with Nature Sounds
Meditation had been on my to-do list for many years but I was never able to make it stick - like many people. I did it a few times but I was not able to incorporate it long term into my daily routine. I always had a good excuse for putting it off but, let's be blunt, the real reasons were my false perception of not having the time, my fear of my own thoughts, my guilt for my lack of productivity and my fear of being uncomfortable.
I tried many things to overcome all these reasons and excuses. I started small. Slow and steady wins the race, right? Not in this case. This is usually the way to go when incorporating a new habit into your life but it didn't work for me. So I decided to jump into the deep end and see what would happen. I started meditating 30 minutes a day while listening to nature and forest sounds. It finally worked!
Why did it finally work? My dedication level to overcome depression and anxiety has been through the roof since last year and maybe I was just simply more committed to the process. The nature sounds have definitely helped me a lot. It gave my mind something to listen to and be distracted with while I was trying to sit still. Nature sounds are also very calming and soothing and it felt like a natural tonic for my overworked mind and tensed body. If you need more convincing, I suggest that you read this article: Why Nature Sounds Help You Relax, According to Science. Nature sounds help decrease the fight-or-flight body response. It also made me realize that I don't go in nature enough and listening to nature sounds is a good alternative. I should have never underestimated the power of nature and neither should you.
Also, when I tried meditation in the past, I practiced it for 5-10 minutes a day. It didn't give my body enough time to relax and to feel the benefits. It usually takes between 10-15 minutes for my body to relax, for my breath to become deeper and for the the weight on my shoulders to be lifted. I think - with practice - this period will become shorter and shorter and my body will not need as much time to relax. Practice makes perfect.
I meditate 6 days/week - 20 minutes during the week and 30 minutes during the weekend. I have seen a huge difference on my anxiety level, my obsessive thinking, rumination and depressive thoughts.