We all go through periods in our lives when we feel chaotic, stressed and overwhelmed by it all. Along with eating a healthy diet and regular exercise, many people find mindfulness and meditation can help combat stress and bring a sense of happiness and calm into their lives.
Unleash your inner peace and tune out the noise by taking time to nurture your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Practice self-care, and you’ll see how your stress begins to dissolve.
During meditation, when you tune into your breath and awareness, you become awakened to your true inner presence, which can make you feel powerfully connected to life and everything it has to offer. Not only does meditation give a multitude of physiological benefits — regular meditative practices have been linked with less stress on the nervous system, better heart health, lower blood pressure and slimmer waistlines —it’s also an incredible tool to help guide your spirit and soul.
Meditation, both scientifically and soulfully, brings you to a state where joy and happiness become inevitable, because the body’s systems say, ” yes,” to the higher frequencies of being. You tune to your truest self, the essence of life and energetic state of frequency, that soulfully connected radio station that’s playing happy all day long, so you can experience more positive emotions like joy, peace, passion, compassion.
Meditation can connect you with your happy, so we’ve created a 12-day meditation challenge to help you tap into your inner happiness. Being in your truth — happiness — is so much better than the alternative. And meditation can help you get there.
Join the journey of this 12-day meditation challenge to enhance your happiness and your overall health, too.
Prep For Your Happy: Meditation Tips
As you start this 12-day challenge, know that there is no real “right way” to meditate; you have to find what works for you. If you’re new to meditating, you may want to start at five minutes per session, and work your way up each day until you reach 20 minutes. You can set a timer each time you sit, so you can fully relax into your meditation. If you’re a seasoned meditator, you can sit each day during this challenge for 20 minutes.
Your body’s position is important — you want to be comfortable and totally relaxed. The traditional posture for meditating is sitting with your legs crossed, right hand in the left hand, palms upwards, with the tips of the thumbs slightly raised and gently touching. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Your tongue can gently rest against the back of your upper teeth, lips and teeth in a normal position. Close down your eyes, and soften to what’s within.
If the traditional posture isn’t comfortable for you, you can also sit up straight, shoulders relaxed with your feet on the floor; or you can lie flat on the ground, palms turned up, arms and legs resting away from your body. As you begin, make sure you’re comfortable so you can be still and channel your inner happy with this challenge.
Day One: Focus On Your Breathing
Breathing is integral to meditation. On day one, we focus on the breath, bringing awareness to it, consciousness. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing for five minutes. Simple. Observe your breath and your body’s functions as you inhale, exhale…
Afterwards, write down what felt great, what felt challenging or not what you expected. Write it down. You’re bringing awareness to your best your friend during this challenge — your breath!
Day Two: Let Go Of Your Thoughts
You’ve connected with your breath. Today, take a moment to become aware of your thoughts. Don’t judge the thoughts; just observe. Allow thoughts to happen naturally, observe them, assess, and be aware of any negative thoughts that aren’t useful to you. Are they thoughts that bring you happiness, or not? You don’t need to shift your thoughts at this point, just bring awareness to them. If you’re a more honed meditator, you may choose to consciously change your thoughts. Your thoughts, conscious or unconscious, contain great lessons and hidden meaning; observe and let them teach you.
Day Three: Imagine Your Happy Place
Today, as you meditate, bring awareness to your deep, slow breathing. Now bring into your mind’s eye the most picturesque place that makes you happy — literally, your happy place. Let yourself relax there for a little while, absorbing the warmth. Your cells will experience the positive energy, all related thoughts and emotions, and your energetic frequency will elevate. Happiness — anywhere you are, when you bring conscious awareness to what you choose to do.
Day Four: Visualize Your Happiness
Sit to meditate and focus on your breath. If you want, find a place that makes you happy, it could be a room or somewhere in nature, it may help you relax even more. Call in energies of happiness, become aware of your thoughts as you ask for guidance to happiness in presence. In your mind’s eye, allow yourself to see, feel and experience something that makes you happy. How do you feel? Do you notice a shift? You can experience happiness within at any moment, calling it to you; breathe, and enjoy.
Day Five: Ask Yourself Tough Questions
One of the greatest techniques to unleash your soul’s happiness is the question and answer technique. Begin to breathe and focus on your breath. Bring awareness to your thoughts, then ask yourself questions like, “What do I need to know to receive more happiness in life?” “What am I currently doing in my life right now that isn’t contributing to my happiness?” and “What are the small things that bring me joy? What are the small things I can do to be happier day to day?” Your subconscious mind loves working on your behalf, so when you point it in the direction of joy, happiness and passion, it will unfold those answers for you.
Ask your questions, and allow yourself to feel into your answers. When you open your eyes from meditation, take a few moments to write down any guidance you may receive.
Day Six: Let It All Go
Yesterday, you asked yourself questions and sought answers. Today, it’s all about letting those anxieties go, and simply being. With breath and connection comes calm, that relaxed state where you’re more aware and physiologically attuned, your nervous system being in a more peaceful flow. When we’re in the day to day, you may find your mind racing, especially with the rate of information we receive. Today, when you sit to meditate, focus on your breath, your thoughts and notice the way your body softens as you exhale.
Breathe in, calm, breathe out, let go. When you’re relaxed, you can tune to happy —that blissful way of being every person deserves to feel.
Day Seven: Conscious Optimism
Positive thoughts are a form of conscious optimism that puts a silver lining on life’s little clouds. Today we connect with the choice to create our thinking, re-wiring neural pathways that may have been wired as anything other than positive. As you breathe and observe your thoughts, begin to connect with the truth that you are master of your mind and can choose a new, positive thought; it can be as simple as determing what new coloured flower you’d like in your garden, or remembering an important friendship in your life that you are grateful for.
Notice your thought, then choose a positive one, and notice any shifts in your body as you do. Conscious optimism connects you with the cells in your body, bringing awareness, unleashing your soul to the happiness within. If you find your thoughts drifting towards pessimism, shift and readjust.
Day Eight: Happiness As A Journey, Not The Destination
Setting goals and sticking with them can bring you happiness. As you come to meditation today, set your intention for one of happiness. Set a goal for your inner happy, whatever that may be, and allow yourself to settle into your breath, bringing awareness to both your goal and your cellular state of being happy.
Today you can begin to combine techniques, calling in the energy of happiness and visualizing you fulfilling your goals, the ones you connect with happiness. Even setting small goals and letting yourself meditate on them can assist you to move forward to fulfilling them. Enjoy the journey towards happiness, the calm and the warmth that comes with it, rather than focusing on the destination.
Day 9: Focus On Your Heart
As you meditate today, draw your attention inward, not only to your breath but to your heart, too. Notice how your heart rate quickens as you breathe in, and softens as you breathe out. As you feel this rhythm, you connect in with your heart — and provide it heart coherence, where your natural state is one that yields those feelings of being happy.
As you continue, you can shift your focus — on the inhale, focus your attention on your heart; on your exhale, focus on a positive emotion, saying it and feeling it within you. Your cells will connect with this energetic frequency — so your heart can know the truth: it is truly happy.
Day 10: Hone In On Your Resilience
We are nearing the end of the challenge — keep it up! Today as you meditate, focus on your inner strength, the resilience that guides you to push towards the light of happiness, even in the darkness. Especially through tough times, it’s important to keep our hearts open and remember that we can overcome anything. Brene Brown calls this, “daring greatly,” the resilience that’s a powerful choice to stand up, even after faltering.
As you meditate, call to mind a time where you faced adversity and stood strong to rise up. Notice your thoughts; do not judge them. Keep your mind focused on the moment of strength; in resilience comes happiness, and the powerful, positive mindset that can bring you more happiness during all of life’s adventures.
Day 11: Feel Your Inner Energy
During these last 10 days, you have probably noticed a shift in your energy. Connecting with your breath and meditating activates your body on cellular, physiological levels, releasing endorphins and energizing you. When you have more energy, you feel happier.
Today, be present to your meditation and aware of your energy, emotions and thoughts. Meditating connects you with the presence of the moment; the commitment to your meditation practice gives you energy. Breathe and observe. Can you feel a shift in your mind, a positive, renewed perspective?
Day 12: Let The Self-Love In
As you progress through this meditation challenge, you may have had a change to reconnect with yourself and notice some things about who you are, and your attitude, that you may not have realized before. Accept, embrace and, yes, love all of it. Choosing self-love gives you permission to be who you are, connecting with yourself on a deeper level, unleashing your soul and being truly happy.
It’s time to let the love in — your love. Breathe, be present to the shifts you may experience and focus your attention on love. You may choose a mantra to focus your attention on. Giving yourself that affirmation of love not only puts the positive in your mind, it lets love flow to mind, body and soul.
Meditation is more than just sitting down and closing your eyes. It’s a practice to connect you to a state of consciousness that trains your mind to be calm, caring, compassionate and, yes, happy. Meditation, like happiness, is a journey — and one enjoyed with many benefits as you continue on your quest to bring that truth to you. Your heart wants you to be happy, and meditation can help.
Congratulate yourself on making it to day 12! Write down the techniques that worked best for you, and consider incorporating meditation into your daily routine. Taking time for yourself to decompress, breathe deeply, and be in the moment can give you a sense of rejuvenation and peace, and re-connect you with your inner strength during trying times.