I’m a mover. I can’t sit still. I have a stand-up desk and even when I’m sitting it’s on a ball, so I’m kind of bouncing. I can remember as a six-year-old, trying to fall asleep during bedtime and having so much energy that I would lie on my back, rock from left to right, and sing Good Lovin’ by The Young Rascals until the energy finally left my body. Even now, I have a hard time falling asleep and reading a book every night so my mind slowly moves towards wherever the story and new world take me to until I drift off.

The funny thing is, although I still struggle with restlessness, I’m now drained of energy. It’s as if my body is having some conflicting dialogue:

“Sit, relax…”

“Noooo, we have WAY too much to do, and I’ll make sure to make your brain thinks so, so it CAN’T relax.”

You won’t be surprised to know, then, that I’ve suffered from insomnia for much of my life. I tried to walk around the city looking at the amazing architecture to get very tired and fall asleep quickly. But that didn’t help. Then, some years ago, someone suggested I try meditation.  Well, they may have just as well proposed I locked myself in a torture chamber and swallowed the key.

Sit still AND be quiet. What? And this is relaxing? I did a LOT of guffawing and eye-rolling, but I finally tried it. And guess what, I didn’t love it. But I kept doing it, and like most things you practice, I got better. I even went to a meditation retreat where I learned about and tried several different types of meditation.

Three Easy Types of Meditation to Start With

Although there are many forms of meditation, I found these three to be the best for beginners or the average Joe/Jane:

  1. Mindfulness (Vipassana)
    This is where you just sit or lay with your thoughts (and here’s the part I struggled with) and LET THEM GO. As in, don’t fall down the rabbit hole with your thoughts. The focus is on your breath. If you’re familiar with yoga at all, this is that final pose where you lay on your back and breathe.
  2. Transcendental or Concentration Meditation
    It’s all about the mantras, people. You take a word like “open” or a phrase like “My body is open and relaxed” and run with it (figuratively, of course). Sometimes you do this while staring at a candle. You can say your mantra aloud or in your head. The repetition is curiously mesmerizing. This kind of meditation can be quite helpful in the beginning when you might be struggling with wondering (and wandering) thoughts. (Cool fact: This is the meditation the Beatles practiced.)
  3. Guided
    This is my personal favorite. This kind of meditation can take many forms: It can guide you on a journey, relax your body one muscle at a time, or just calmly speak to you as you breathe deeply and relax.

Regardless of which type you take up, meditation does ALL sorts of good things for your mind AND your body: It lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces anxiety and stress, deepens relaxation, and gives you way more energy.

Most of all, though, I’ve found that it has given me the ability to “take a deep breath” in any situation that historically would have put me over the edge. I can tap right into that mediation mindset with my eyes wide open, even while in the midst of a conversation. Meditation has given me more than just the above-mentioned benefits; it’s given me the antidote to my life’s biggest struggle, impatience.

Take the First Step with this One-Minute Meditation

Now, for the best part: For those of you reading this and thinking, “That’s nice, but I barely have an extra 20 or 30 minutes to do anything, let alone do something for myself like meditation.” I’m here to tell you, though, that it doesn’t have to take that long. Even one minute a day can change your life. In fact, I usually only meditate for 2-5 minutes a day. I do whole-heartedly believe in making big changes with small steps that I created a 1-minute meditation and it’s yours for the taking. Life is big, start small.