I Meditated For 70+ Days in a Row — and Things Have Become Weird Now, for Me.
How did I do this for more than 2 months? More on that in a bit. Here’s what’s changed for me.
- I am more calm
- I no longer get scared by screaming strangers on the streets or the TTC — especially the TTC and in tight spaces (mentally, I feel like Bruce Lee)
- I now have more patience and genuine interest when someone explains how their day has been
- I am less reactive — example, when my mom criticizes my cooking — I actually listen rather than talk back, and appreciate her feedback, to her amazement
- I am more fascinated with changes in the weather and gratefully accept that it’s -20 degrees celsius outside with windchill (lovely day)
- I sleep better
- I workout better
And most importantly, I am way less stressed out — mainly because I feel I’m no longer playing a defensive, reactive game to my emotions whenever a part of my day doesn’t pan out “smoothly”. I feel in control — more on Stoicism, a mental Operating System on dealing with stress, in a later post (I promise)
I hacked my willpower, that is.
This brings me to answer my initial question of how I managed to consistently do it for more than 70 days and introduced a new habit — I hacked my willpower, that is. Think of willpower as a finite resource, similar to energy that we have in a day the moment we’re awake, and by finding the most effective, efficient way of using the least amount of willpower to cultivate a new habit — I could more easily introduce an intended habit without it feeling like a chore.
I did it primarily in the morning — first thing after I’m awake when my cognitive capacity is still powering up — this is especially useful because I’m hardly making a conscious decision to do anything that requires effort. I’ll gulp a glass of water with apple cider vinegar along with a few pinches of pink salts (this is for adrenal fatigue purposes, which I will do a future write-up on) and go straight into my meditative practice.
I downloaded an app on my phone called Headspace — a guided meditation app that’s available for free on App store & Android. When I do turn this app on my phone and plug in my headphones, I’m in my zone.
The creator of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe — travelled to the Himalayas to study meditations and eventually was bestowed as a Buddhist Monk in Northern India — uses a series of pre-recorded videos, audio to guide me into easing my mind into relaxing and to be aware to thoughts that may arise during these sessions. Each session could be adjusted between 10, 15 or 20 minutes — based on how much time you’d like each guided meditation session to be (I chose 20 because, why not)
I initially began with the Headspace Take 10-series (10 free daily sessions) and became convinced that I wanted to experience a new level of mindfulness and asked myself, “can I afford not to have this” — the answer was easy, and promptly paid ($12.95/month) to access series such as the Performance Pack (Focus, Creativity to list a few)
It’s fascinating to witness changes in my psychology these past 70+ days and the melding of meditations and technology (conventionally, a very unlikely couple) proved to be a winning combination for those of you who are interested in stepping into the world of mindfulness.
My advice? Even if you choose the 10 minutes session and you managed to keep still for a minute, just focused on your breath — that’s considered a win. 3 minutes? That’s a big win. And always make it as winnable as possible for yourself whenever you are intending to introduce a positive habit into your life. I’d rather choose to do 10 minutes of meditations a day for 10 days straight over doing 100 minutes all crammed in a day — it’s easier, more productive and most importantly, winnable.
Download the app, try it and now go make things weird for yourself — in a good way, of course.