My introduction to meditation started in a therapist's office years ago, and it seemed like it wasn't for me. Then when one of my kids' therapists mentioned meditating through breathwork, I was still hesitant. I thought, "You got to be kidding me. How could sitting quietly and not doing anything help my kid or me?" We are doers and like to get things done, and sitting is not doing; it's simply being. Later, I realized that simply being and focusing on my breath was exactly what I needed.
During a COVID wave, I was a night chaplain at a hospital, and sleeping was tough. Since by that time I actually wanted to be still and do nothing and was desperate for sleep, I tried meditating. I did a free trial of the Calm app and found great comfort and centeredness. Then I bought the app and did it for about two years, until COVID calmed down and so did my anxiety.
I started spending less time meditating after life began to calm down, but one night recently I was at home, lying in bed, and my anxiety was high. I remembered one of my favorite breathing practices to help calm me down, and tried to use it again. It goes like this:
- Breathe in through your nose for four counts.
- Hold your breaths for four counts.
- Breathe out your mouth for eight counts.
When I felt my body calm down through this breathing practice, I realized I wanted to regain my meditation rhythm, so I tried a different app called Insight Timer. Insight Timer is unique because, unlike Calm, it has some Christian-based mediations, and helps connect your mind, body, and spirit.
If you are new to meditation, try one of the apps I mentioned, such as Calm or Insight Timer. Alternatively, if you need to regain your rhythm, try something new or different such as the Headspace app or the guided meditations available on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, or Spotify.
(Continue the conversation in the comments, below.)
Andrea Catlett, MA, is a former pastor and has served a wide variety of ministries. She currently serves as a chaplain with Fallen Sparrow Spiritual Care. Through her education and experience, she has found prayer to be her constant calling. As a special needs mom and being disabled herself, she naturally advocates for those who need their voice heard in the healthcare system or simply a fellow friend. Andrea is a member of the Eden Spiritual Care board, and is also an Eden Spiritual Care class instructor.