Have you ever said you were going to do something.. and actually stuck with it? How about for a whole week? I’ve always been the kind of person that says they’re totally, 100 percent going to stick to doing something new, but then only lasts about three days doing it. Whether it’s drinking more water, reading more books, or watching less Netflix (LOL never), I’ve never committed hard enough to stick it through a week. Which is why I’m going to be starting something new every week, and sticking to it day to day. I’m definitely going to be expecting some urges to give up but, I will not let you girls down! Hey, maybe whatever I’m doing will become a habit!
The art of meditation has been around since the beginning of time, and is popular all over the world for its stress-relieving benefits. Because of my extremely hectic schedule, I know I could benefit from some meditating. So, I decided to try meditating for 20 minutes a day.
There are many forms of meditation, and different things work for everyone – I tried three different kinds. I tried walking meditation (meditating while walking), focused-attention meditation (focusing your mind on an object, like your breath), and effortless meditation (focusing on nothingness). These three types of meditation were practiced 20 minutes a day to help me battle stress. Let’s see how I did it…Ommmmmm.
Day 1- Monday (Walking Meditation)
Wait, all I have to do is walk and be mindful of what’s around me? Easy. Well, kind of. The goal of walking meditation was for my awareness to be incredibly heightened. After school, I put on my walking shoes and comfortable clothes, and went on a peaceful walk around the neighborhood. As I walked, I was supposed to “tune in” to my different body parts and how they felt. How do my toes feel? Are they hot? I went up my body and assessed how each part felt. After that, I tuned in to the environment.
This was definitely the greatest part. I looked at the trees breezing gently, the birds flying gracefully, and what do you know – a blimp! I tried to stay focused and relax my mind completely. I let all my stressful thoughts pass by, and softly pushed them away by focusing on my environment. When I arrived at my house and snapped out of my meditation, it was like I was in a trance! I didn’t even recall much of the walk- except for the blimp! As soon as I got inside, I knew I had loads of homework ahead of me but, I wasn’t really worried. I started my homework with much ease and no stressful thoughts. Hey, maybe this meditation thing really does work…
Day 2 – Tuesday (Focused-Attention meditation)
Time to focus! This was similar to the walking meditation, except for the walking part. I was supposed to focus on an object and revolve my meditative state around that; I chose my breathing. I wanted to try meditating in my room so I used one area. I sat in my very comfortable chair, lit some candles, and breathed in and out…for 20 minutes.
I can’t lie – at first, it was very hard to focus on my breath when everything I had to do that day was popping into my head. I realized the way to get rid of these thoughts was by ACTUALLY focusing on my breath. When I truly listened to my breath, I noticed my thoughts slowly dissipate. After my meditation, I had to drive to Hollywood for an audition. Usually, I have a little bit of nerves and dread the traffic on my way over there but, I did not feel ANY nerves. Was this the same Cheyenne? Even traffic wasn’t too bad to sit in. The audition went great because I wasn’t nervous about it! This meditation works very well so far…Is this witchcraft?
Day 3 – Wednesday (Effortless Meditation)
Effortless meditation…sounds easy, right? WRONG. So wrong. It’s actually really hard to try to think about nothing because all your brain wants to do is wander. I decided to try this before I went to school. I sat down in my meditation spot, and began my session. I tried turning my brain off and it didn’t work. Remember, this was effortless meditation so I was not supposed to focus on my breathing or really anything at all.
Five minutes into the mediation, my brain was still wandering and I couldn’t focus. I then got up and lit some incense and candles to maybe ignite a more “meditative atmosphere.” NOPE. Did not work. In fact, it distracted me even more because the candles were Sugar Cookie flavored and I kept thinking about how I wanted to eat sugar cookies. So, yeah, THANKS CANDLES. After 20 minutes of mental food porn, I went to school and did not feel any difference because I simply did not meditate. I can’t say I was looking forward to my second time trying this one.
Day 4 – Thursday (Walking Meditation)
I’m went walking through my neighborhood, doing a similar ritual to the last time I did this type of meditation on Monday. I was totally focused on my feet, shifting up to my stomach, shifting up to my arms, etc. I was tuning into how each body part felt, when suddenly, I passed this car that completely threw everything off for me. It had what looked like red liquid (??) all over the window. I stopped in my tracks and just burst out laughing.
Well, that was pretty much it for my meditating. As much as I wanted to question my body with how it was feeling, I wanted to question this car’s owner to see what the hell happened?! After I snapped the picture, I walked away and tried resuming my meditation. I was able to shift my focus from the throw up/hot chocolate/whatever was on that car…until I got home. Then I just started laughing at the photo again. I went to my acting class later that night again, didn’t feel too many nerves. Even though my meditation was interrupted, I was able to reap some of its benefits.
Day 5 – Friday (Focused-Attention)
I did my 20 minutes of meditation while focusing on my breathing again. I can honestly say I barely remember that mediation session because I was in such a deep meditative state! Once I finished, all I remember was that it was similar to waking up from an intense sleep– but I was more alert! After my meditation, I quickly remembered I had tons and tons of homework to do. To give you an idea, here’s what I had to get done:
Yikes. Usually, I would be procrastinating like crazy but, this was probably my most productive homework day EVER. This meditation is a freaking MIRACLE DRUG. I was laser focused on the work that I had to do and additionally, I was not stressed out at all. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY BRAIN!? If you look, I got everything on my checklist done except for 2 items! What the what? Am I a super hero or am I just a meditating goddess?! I went to sleep peacefully knowing a lot of my homework was done and felt an overall uplift in positivity!
Day 6 – Saturday (Mindfulness Eating Meditation)
Effortless meditation is not the type of meditation for me. It’s too hard to focus on nothing because my brain needs to focus on SOMETHING! I Googled another type of meditation that I thought would be fun to try, and I didn’t even have to close my eyes and zen out for it! It was called Mindfulness Eating Meditation. This technique allows you to get the utmost amount of pleasure from the food you’re eating while not overeating. I LOVE food and would legitimately marry it if I could, but I tend to overeat on occasion. This was the perfect tool to eat whatever I wanted but with some control! I decided to try this out on the most difficult meal of all: dessert.
My boyfriend and went to Milk, an amazing dessert place in Los Angeles. I got a Chai Tea Ice Cream Macaron. Yes, that exists, and I was not supposed to eat this entire thing. Am I crazy? Ok, so I tried my mindfulness eating on this beautiful angel. I took about five bites total and was finished eating. WHO AM I GUYS? WHAT. IS. GOING. ON. After each bite, I realized I was slowly getting the flavors I wanted and after the fifth, I realized that my body was in a good place to stop. My boyfriend stared at me like I was insane, and he ate the rest for me. It wasn’t the easiest thing to stop eating but, I could see myself utilizing that tool again! Except with Bagel Bites… The only time I will stop eating Bagel Bites is when I finish the world’s supply of them.
Day 7 – (Focused-Attention Meditation)
I found a new spot to meditate, and it was a spot I should have chosen a while ago…The lake near my house! It’s a beautiful lake surrounded with chirping birds and nature. I sat at the very top overlooking the lake and did my meditation there! Instead of focusing on my breath, I changed it up a little and focused on the birds chirping. I sat here for about 20 minutes and found this to be one of the most relaxing focused-attention meditations I’ve had.
I wasn’t in a trance like state like Friday’s meditation, but this meditation had a different vibe to it because I was outside. The birds provided a more peaceful feeling to this meditation session. After it was over, I sat there for a little while longer and just took in the beauty! Afterwards, I returned home to do the rest of my homework checklist! I completed it, once again, stress free. Because I didn’t procrastinate on my homework, I was able to watch some Netflix and eat a great dinner. Good day, thanks meditation!
Conclusion: This week I learned one thing: MEDITATING ROCKS. I really discovered that it lowered my overall stress level, nerves, and procrastination. I was dreading this week from the amount of work I had to get done, but after meditating, each day seemed to be simpler. I was able to focus on each individual task rather than look at everything in the big picture.
My favorite type of meditation was the focused-attention meditation. I found it very easy to focus on my breath or the birds outside. It was also this technique that allowed for me to feel a deeper level in my meditation I would definitely meditate again. I honestly could even see this become a daily habit. This really did wonders for me and by far, I think it’s been my favorite “For a Week” yet! I still will never be mindful about eating Bagel Bites. Sorry.
Got anything you’d like me to try for a week? Tell me in the comments!
Want more Cheyenne? You can check her out on Gurl’s YouTube channel – here’s her latest video to get you started!