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The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

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The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

Being on vacation is mainly about rest and relaxation, but what if you could get a lot more out of it?

What if during your vacation you could recharge yourself with more energy than ever before?

Are you ready for something that’s going to change your life forever?

Incorporating daily meditation into your vacation plans can really help you get the most out of your retreat. This guide will explain exactly how to do just that and outlines the many benefits you can reap from adding mindful meditation to your plans.

Why Practicing Meditation Makes Total Sense

Most people assume that meditation is about sitting cross-legged and thinking about whatever comes to mind, and that there’s no real practical purpose to it. Some would even call it a complete waste of time. Of course most of these people have never really meditated a day in their life.

The truth is that meditation can have a powerful impact on your wellbeing and overall energy.

Furthermore, it can help you deal with various unbalanced emotional states and bring them into harmony. However, in order to get maximum benefits it is important to commit to at least 30 minutes of meditation each day.

The more often you meditate, the better; but remember, start slow and gradually and work your way up to this goal. If you can meditate every day of your vacation for only a few minutes at a time, then do it.

To get started, let’s look at some of the known benefits of meditation:

1. You’ll Sleep So Much Better

One of the most important things about practicing meditation before going to bed is that you can be sure the your quality of sleep is going to be deep and highly energizing.

In some rare cases it can even prevent insomnia.

Since beginning daily meditation before bedtime, never before have I slept so well. The practice has radically improved my sleeping schedule. But don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself. You will be surprised by the results.

2. Your Energy Levels Will Soar

Your internal energy will gain a great boost from meditation.

In a deep state of meditation your body will recharge with energy in a powerful way. This radical shift will easily be noticed. This is one of the most useful benefits from this practice.

Once I started meditating regularly, my energy levels improved to the point where I started sleeping less and getting more things done throughout the day.

3. Your Balance Will Be On Point

Another important aspect that comes from meditation is balance.

Here I am describing both mental and emotional balance. When you practice regular meditation, your mind stabilizes and becomes organized and disciplined, while your emotional states become easier to control.

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You will no longer feel like thoughts and emotions are controlling you; it will be the other way around. You will become a sovereign of your life.

Before getting into meditation, my mind was all over the place; but, in time and with perseverance, I reached an internal balance that helped me overcome many stressful situations with relative ease.

4. You’ll Be Far Less Forgetful

When you meditate, you gradually become more aware of everything going on around you because the mind is no longer distracted.

It should come as no surprise that if you’re consciously more aware of things, your recall ability will improve greatly.

In the past I used to forget things easily; but after a few months of daily meditation I began to retain all sorts of details about what I’ve read, where I had placed things, what tasks I had left to do that day, etc.

5. You’ll Gain a Finer-Tuned Focus

Proper meditation also improves your focus because you learn to pay attention to your breath and not allow other thoughts to divide your attention.

If practiced enough, it will not only manifest while meditating but also while you’re in a regular state of consciousness. This means your focus will become laser sharp!

After practicing daily meditation for some time, I can easily focus on a task without becoming distracted.

This has helped me a great deal in every project that I’ve worked on. When your mind is totally present in the moment, it becomes an actual force. Things will get done properly and on time. There is little doubt about how useful this ability will become in time.

6. Pain Will No Longer Phase You

Whatever the cause of injury might be, meditation can help reduce your pain.

This is not to say that you will no longer feel that pain, it’s just that it will move into the background somewhere.

Through daily meditation you will learn pain control.

The more I meditated, the more I was able to control how much physical pain bothered me. The pain was still there, it just didn’t have the same effect on me as prior to my incorporating a daily meditation routine.

7. You’ll Become Enlightened

Ultimately meditation makes you realize that you’re something above a physical body. You’re not the body or emotions… or even your thoughts.

This will give you an unusual freedom.

You will no longer feel as limited as before and your entire perception of life will change. In some cases the fear of death will disappear altogether.

The exact internal states are difficult to describe, but when practicing daily meditation a feeling of superior happiness will manifest and will even make you question what happiness really is.

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Years back when I started meditating it just seemed like a boring activity at first. It took a while to fully grasp the depth of what meditation actually meant. At that stage it still seemed forced (and to be honest it was to a certain extent).

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to discipline yourself to keep going at the beginning. This is when it seems like nothing actually gets done, although eventually you’ll discover that there’s something to it, which will change you in many positive ways.

You might find many reasons to discontinue the practice, but you have to keep going if you want to see real results. Don’t give up!

This in itself is a lesson when it comes to meditation and even life itself. One must develop patience in order to succeed in reaching the deeper states. In fact anything worth going after in life will require patience and determination.

Nothing happens overnight!

Take Your Daily Practice on Vacation

So, you’re on vacation and you want to get the most out of your meditations. How do you do it? It’s actually pretty simple and can easily be scheduled into your plans.

If you’re on vacation with your kids, the good thing about meditation is that anybody can do it.

No matter what age, meditation is safe for everyone–so get the kids to join in! It can be beneficial to encourage your children to meditate from an early age, but there’s no reason to insist on it if they find no pleasure in it. Then again, you never know; kids will sometimes surprise you with their curiosity and interest in trying new things!

So no matter who has come along for vacation, whether you choose to meditate solo or as a family, it’s possible to reap the benefits even when you’re away from home.

Start Reaping the Rewards of Mindfulness Today

Now that you understand the vast benefits of meditation, and that anyone can practice meditation just about anywhere, you may be wondering: what are the essential components for a successful meditation session?

1. Embrace Silence

There’s no real meditation without first finding a quiet spot.

Unless you’re an experienced practitioner who has been meditating for decades, the noise will most likely distract and even bother you during the meditation.

You can use ear plugs to cancel most external noise if a quiet place cannot be found.

Depending on where you are vacationing, consider the idea of meditating in nature. For instance, if you are on a hike or are walking through a forest and find a nice quiet place for meditation, then go for it!

2. Get In a Proper Position

Once you’ve found the right place for meditation, choosing a position to meditate in that you’re comfortable with is essential to the quality of the experience.

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If you meditate in a difficult posture that causes pain, then you can imagine that the experience will have a negative impact on you.

Be careful about meditating in bed, as it is very easy to fall asleep.

Another thing worth mentioning is that often a meditation posture is not comfortable at first; in fact, it could take months to get used to the posture so that you feel totally relaxed while in it. While on vacation, cut yourself some slack and stick to a posture that’s already easy to relax in, such as sitting comfortably.

3. Dress for Success

It is best to wear something relaxing while meditating, otherwise it will distract your internal focus to the external aspects that make your body uncomfortable.

Needless to say, the temperature of the body has to be pleasant. You don’t want to have clothing on that makes you feel too warm or too cold. If you want to meditate outside make sure that you check the weather and that you’re prepared accordingly.

Your choice of clothing can really make a big difference when it comes to the quality of your meditations.

4. Be Mindful of What You Eat (and Drink)

It’s recommendable to drink water before a meditation to have the body hydrated.

Another very important aspect is to never meditate right after you eat.

Take a break of 2-3 hours after a meal, before beginning to meditate. I’ve ignored this aspect before and it didn’t end up well. Here would be a great place to mention that meditation has a powerful and beneficial effect on digestion.

5. Destroy All Distractions

Make sure to turn off the TV, the laptop, the tablet, the phone, etc. for the period that you will be meditating.

It’s important that you will not be disturbed from your meditation by a sudden noise. Distractions such as these could make the entire experience difficult and you won’t reap as many benefits.

It’s most unpleasant to be engaged in deep meditation and suddenly be forced out of it.

6. Plan Accordingly

It would be unwise to meditate immediately after playing games, watching a movie or listening to music for a prolonged period of time.

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In all those cases the mind will become increasingly more active with various thoughts. To meditate in such a state would be a constant struggle. I remember when I used to play video games years ago and then tried to meditate after that. Those were the most unsuccessful meditations of my life.

Ready, Set, Meditate!

Take the posture that you are most comfortable in and begin by slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Keep on doing that for a while until you feel quite relaxed.

Being relaxed in a meditation is a very important aspect if you want to succeed in attaining deeper states of consciousness.

After that, continue to pay attention to your breath, but breathe only through the nose now.

The true mental freedom and the real appreciation of meditation will come when you will realize that empty gap between breaths and especially between your thoughts.

That pure emptiness is the true internal peace. When you’re able to maintain that state, your body will be filled with energy and the meditation will become a blessing!

It’s essential not to become frustrated or upset because you’re unable to let go at first because intrusive thoughts keep flooding into your awareness.

Acknowledge the situation and continue forward with the meditation.

Little by little you will continue making progress as long as you keep going and maintain a calm attitude. There’s no reason to try to force things.

A meditative state should come naturally, almost all on its own. You’ll need to learn to adapt to your internal states and go with the flow, while at the same time retaining awareness.

That’s it! Keep it up and reap a ton of rewards.

Mindfulness Wherever You Go

Similarly to anything else, for lasting results you will need to meditate daily for sustained periods of time. However, on vacation is the best time to start this practice and get a taste of its power.

Once you get hooked while on vacation, you’ll be looking for other ways to integrate meditation in your everyday life.

It was only after I had been meditating for months on a daily basis that the real benefits started to become obvious to me.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you from meditating. You don’t need to meditate daily for that long in order to see a significant change in your life. And although at this point it might seem difficult to integrate meditation in your daily life when you’re not on vacation, eventually you will find a way.

I wish you the very best on your meditation journey. If you begin a daily practice while on your vacation, it will surely be one you’ll remember for the rest of your life!

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Featured photo credit: Photo by Jens Kreuter via unsplash.com

More by this author

Bogdan C.

I've been trying to combine the classical martial arts with internal development and the more esoteric aspects of generating internal energy.

The Benefits of Daily Meditation While on Vacation

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1 How to Stop Being Anxious And Regain Your Calm 2 How To Do Focused Meditation Any Time 3 Does Anxiety Make You Tired And Why? 4 Does Depression Make You Tired And How? 5 Overwhelmed at Work? 17 Ways to Manage Work Anxiety

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Published on January 18, 2022

How to Stop Being Anxious And Regain Your Calm

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How to Stop Being Anxious And Regain Your Calm

Are you sick and tired of wasting your mental and emotional energy worrying about (and replaying) events in your mind? Even sabotaging yourself, your performance, and your relationships, at times? Constantly playing the “what if” game in your mind?

Let’s be honest, feeling anxious is miserable and unequivocally sucks the enjoyment out of life. It does this because it is impossible to be in the present moment when you are constantly worried about the future or past events. Here’s the deal—it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s talk about some tips on how to stop being anxious and get your calm back.

The Difference Between Feeling Anxious and Having Anxiety

Feeling anxious is just part of the human experience and is a normal stress response. When the stress is removed, the anxiety usually goes away, too. With an anxiety disorder, the stressful trigger is removed but the anxiety can still be present.[1]

There are multiple anxiety disorders with varying characteristics. If you are concerned that you may have one of them, it is best to be evaluated by your doctor, especially since anxiety is very common. According to research, up to 33% of all Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point during their lifetime.[2]

What Can You Do to Manage Feeling Anxious?

The good news is there’s a lot that you can do to stop being anxious. Science is learning more and more every day about ways we can manage feeling anxious.

I am a strong believer in being proactive and preventative. If you have a lot of stress in your life or are prone to feeling anxious, I always recommend establishing a foundation of good daily habits. That way, when something happens to poke the anxiety bear, you are already in a position to handle things.

Twenty tips may be overwhelming for some people but remember: you are not expected to incorporate every tip on this list. Look at it as a menu of potential helpful options. You can pick and choose whatever you want and leave the rest.

Here are 20 tips on how to stop being anxious:

1. Eat the Right Food

It might come as a surprise to some, but certain foods can make anxiety worse, such as sugary foods, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.[3]

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Here are some foods you can try instead that can help reduce anxiety: Brazil nuts, fatty fish, eggs, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, Turmeric, Chamomile, yogurt, and green tea.[4]

2. Stay Hydrated

One simple tip to help you stop being anxious is by staying hydrated. Even being mildly dehydrated has been shown to worsen anxiety.[5] So, drink up! Water, that is.

3. Work Some Mindfulness Into Your Day

This one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Meditation and diaphragmatic breathing (breathing into your belly and engaging your abdominals upon exhale) are what usually come to mind, but there are some other fast and easy exercises that can help calm you down almost immediately.

One of my favorites is called Five Things, and it’s based upon our five senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch). It can be done in any order.

For example, you might start by picking five things you can see. As you list each item, it’s important to take in the detail of each one. Next, you pick four things you can feel, noting each item with the same attention to detail. Work your way down to one item accompanying your last sense.

4. Get Some Exercise

Completing 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week may significantly improve symptoms of anxiety. Even as little as 10 minutes has a positive impact.[6]

In one study, exercise was shown to be as effective as medication in the treatment of symptoms of anxiety, with higher intensity exercise more effective than lower intensity exercise.[7]

5. Sit With It/Observe It

Dr. Judson Brewer recently penned a book (and an app) entitled Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind in which he discusses turning toward our emotions as a way to process them rather than distracting ourselves or bottling things up (turning away).

He encourages people to be an observer of the emotional response in their bodies, almost as if conducting a research project in great detail and noting the exact location of physical sensations (stomach, right or left side, front or back) with as much detail as possible.

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6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an approach that utilizes the cyclical connection between our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as a means to control unwanted (anxious) thoughts.

One exercise to stop ruminating thoughts includes picturing a stop sign in great detail, instructing yourself to “stop,” and then changing the narrative to something positive, encouraging, or even more realistic or likely.

Another CBT exercise involves challenging negative thought patterns and beliefs for validity by asking yourself:

  • Is there evidence for my thought or am I making assumptions?
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Is this likely?
  • What’s the best that could happen?
  • What’s most likely to happen?
  • Will this matter in a week, a year, or five years from now?

7. Realize What You Can and Can’t Control

Take action where you can. Many of us spend time worrying and feeling anxious over things we can’t control.

Figure out what you can do and take action from there. Studies show that taking action reduces anxiety.[8]

8. Gratitude

Reminding ourselves of the good things in our lives not only brings positivity to us but also reduces anxiety. This is because it is neurologically impossible for our brain to focus on negative and positive information at the same time.[9]

9. Volunteer or Do Something for Someone Else

Helping others feels good. It also reduces stress, boosts our immune system, and can help us live longer.[10]

10. Journal in the 3rd Person

The practice of journaling has long been known as a valuable tool to help us manage our emotions, and it can also help us stop being anxious and regain our calm.

Making a point to name the emotions you are experiencing (“name it to tame it”) is a principle Dr. Dan Siegel discovered that heightens the value of journaling. More recently, Dr. Kross, in his book, Chatter: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, noted that journaling in the 3rd person (as if narrating your life) creates further value by creating some distance between you and the emotion you are experiencing, thus allowing you to breathe easier and gain perspective.

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11. Go Out Into Nature

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve attention, lower stress, improve mood, reduce the risk of psychiatric disorders, and even cause upticks in empathy and cooperation.[11]

12. Spend Time With Animals

Dogs are not only your best friend, but it turns out they are good for your mental and emotional health, too. The fact that cats just allow you to live with them as their servant doesn’t detract from the positive impact they also have on our emotional well-being.

Spending time cuddling with your pet on the couch can decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have also found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.[12]

13. Get Good Sleep

Getting good sleep can be difficult when we feel anxious, but being tired can worsen the issue. Try sticking to a consistent bedtime, make your bedroom dark, the temperature cool, and limit screen time before going to sleep.

14. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol changes the level of neurotransmitters in our brain. This can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety. Caffeine is a stimulant, specifically stimulating our fight or flight response, which is already more sensitive for those struggling with anxiety. Use both in moderation.

15. Show Yourself Compassion and Encouragement

What would you say to your best friend? Many times we make things worse by shaming or berating ourselves for feeling anxious because we fear it makes us appear weak or vulnerable. This makes the problem worse.

What would your best friend say to you? Stop beating yourself up and be your own best friend.

16. Spend Time With Friends

Healthy friendships make us feel included, improve self-confidence and self-esteem, and thus, help reduce anxiety.[13]

17. Create Balance in Your Life

Set healthy boundaries and priorities, and don’t be afraid to enforce them. Nobody else can do this for you. Value yourself. You are worth it.

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18. Have a Plan

Another tip to help you stop being anxious is to have a plan. Knowing what you will do takes away a lot of the “what if” thoughts in your mind. Being certain about some things and managing your expectations can help give you peace of mind.

19. Remind Yourself of a Past Event

You can also try to remind yourself of a past event in your life that you were anxious about but still ended up okay. Have confidence that you will make it through this situation, too.

20. Have Some Structure or Routine in Your Day

Knowing what to expect can significantly reduce anxiety and the fear that can accompany uncertainty.[14] Give yourself as much structure as you need. You’ll thank yourself for it.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult to manage feelings of being anxious. Take charge and pick a few of these to try out. Be consistent, and see how you feel.

You can always discard what doesn’t work for you, and pick something else to try. Confide in a friend that you are implementing some new strategies, and get some support.

Always tell your doctor your concerns, and don’t hesitate to get help if you are having difficulty managing things on your own. Good luck!

More Tips for Calming Your Mind

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

Reference

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