I was on a plane today that flew through a thunderstorm and then there was an unexpected medical emergency for one of the passengers. While I was sitting on this chaotic flight, I got to thinking about how much better life is when you meditate and bring mindfulness into your day. I hate turbulence, but thanks to mindfulness, I maintained my own calm.
Just a few of the benefits of meditation and mindfulness include:
- Reduction in anxiety levels
- Activation of the brain’s default mode network
- More creativity
- Less stress
- Better sleep
But developing daily meditation and mindfulness is a challenge. It’s so easy to get distracted and fall out of the habit.
A plastic surgeon named Dr. Maxwell Maltz discovered on average it took patients 21 days to stop having phantom limb sensations after amputations. This got Dr. Maltz curious, and after further research he concluded it takes twenty-one days for someone to create a new habit. Why? Dr. Maltz speculated it has to do with the formation of neuropathways.
I have done 21 day challenges, and for me, it just doesn’t work. It’s not long enough. Things happen. Life happens. For me, 21 days (3 weeks) is not long enough to fully cement a new habit in my brain. And I wager I’m not the only one. If you have tried a 21 day diet or exercise regimine only to go right back to your old ways, then you understand what I’m talking about.
It takes me approximately 42 days to create a new habit. 42 days is just 6 weeks; it’s not that long, but it’s long enough to take those new habits you have been working so hard to develop and really cement them as habits.
Think about it: if you focused your mind and energy for 42 days, you could be well on your way to mastering just about anything, right?
To help us get into the habit of daily meditation and mindfulness, I am launching the 42 Mindful Moments challenge on Periscope starting November 2nd.
1. Follow me on Periscope (ysmaywalsh) and join me every day for a guided meditation.
Each meditation will be fairly brief – under 15 minutes – and if you can’t join me live, you can always watch the replay. The meditations begin Monday, November 2nd.
2. Start bringing mindfulness to your daily experiences.
Starting with Day 1 – today November 1st – try to do at least one thing in your day mindfully. It doesn’t have to be a big task, nor does it have to be or a long period of time.
A few ideas:
- Sip warm water with lemon and ginger, and spend a moment focusing on the sensation of the water entering your mouth and the taste of the lemon and ginger.
- As you sit down in your office chair, focus on the sensation of your body against the chair. Feel the weight of your body.
- As you eat lunch, take a couple bites mindfully. Focus on the sensation of the food, the taste, the smell.
3. Add more mindful moments.
Each day add one more mindful moment to your day, ultimately reaching 42 mindful moments in 6 weeks. Does that sound hard? Think about it this way:
Every mindful moment only has to be for a couple seconds: a couple seconds of uninterrupted focus and observation on the sensations you’re currently feeling. If each mindful moment is 5 seconds, you’re only spending 210 seconds per day on mindfulness. That’s only 3.5 minutes. Out of your whole day. That’s nothing!
Want to join me for the challenge and bring even meditation and mindfulness to your life?
Use the #42MM hashtag on Twitter, and on Instagram if you upload a photo of a mindful moment daily.
Click To Tweet
The challenge runs from November 2nd to December 14th.