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How to Meditate When Sh*t Is Stressful

It’s all very well to say we need to meditate every day, but sometimes you just want to watch Netflix and eat crap and feel miserable in peace. Why can’t we be left alone to be miserable? Why do we have to meditate?

Benefits of Meditation:

A person sits high up on a hillside, looking out over a city at sunset.

  1. It relieves stress

  2. It relieves anxiety

  3. It can help you sleep

  4. It helps you figure out what’s really, truly bothering you

  5. It helps you let go of sh*t

  6. It can even lower your blood pressure.

Basically, when you’re feeling like you’d rather do literally anything than set yourself up for a meditation session, that’s probably when you need to do it the most.

Great, so how do I get myself to do it?

The first thing I try to do when I know I should meditate but I’m feeling lazy/annoyed/stressed is I think about how I would feel after meditation. And generally the ways I feel after I meditate are:

A person with dark hair meditates cross-legged on a yoga mat.

  1. less stressed

  2. more relaxed

  3. clearer in the mind

  4. less sore (muscle pains etc)

  5. less angry

  6. more calm

  7. more understanding of why I’m feeling so sh*tty

  8. clearer on what I need to do to get myself out of this funk.

So once I’ve established that I’ll feel better afterward, I try to give myself the easiest option. And that option is a personal favourite of mine: Yoga Nidra.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is sometimes called ‘Yogic Sleep’. It’s basically a very deep, powerful form of meditation which (great news) you can do LYING DOWN. The idea is to become first fully aware of each part of your body, and then to let go of the body and descend into a very, very deep state of relaxation and meditation.

An illustration of a personal with long, dark hair, laying down with their eyes closed.

It’s absolutely, insanely good for insomnia. There are hundreds of free Yoga Nidra guided sessions on (yep, you guessed it), Insight Timer, and other free apps. My favourite guided sessions are by Jennifer Piercy, who seems to have some kind of honey/whisky soothing quality to her voice which just enhance her very good sessions. She’ll guide you through each part of the body, teach you to expand your consciousness to encompass the room, the town, the world, and generally leaves you feeling like a million bucks.

I’m not into Yoga Nidra. I want to stay awake.

GREAT! You’re more of a wake-me-up kind of Boss Witch. I get that! So what might be great for you is something more bite-sized, like little 15 minute pockets of meditational goodness. Either find something on a free meditation app that you like, or perhaps you should try the Deepak Chopra 21 Day Abundance Challenge. I’m on Day 10 right now and I have to say, it’s the best way ever to start my day.

Okay, so I meditated. Now what?

A person sits on their bed wearing pyjamas and holding a cup of herbal tea.

Reward yourself. Maybe start a little log of which days you meditate, and give yourself a treat at the end of the week. Maybe the way you feel is treat enough. Write down how good you feel afterwards, and read that back the next time you’re feeling wound up and agitated and you can’t be arsed meditating. Do it for yourself.

I can’t meditate.

YES YOU CAN. Okay, so we all have this moment when we’re learning to meditate where we suddenly go, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”. Only then, you’re not doing it, because you’ve got distracted by how kick-ass you are at meditating. And that’s okay. Just bring yourself back into yourself, and try again. Because nobody, and I mean nobody, is perfect. Meditation is a skill, and it takes practice. And that, my friends, is why we call it our ‘Practice’. Same goes for yoga, but that is a post for another day.

A sad looking dog sits in a chair by a window. Sun streams in.

I believe in you.



PS – if you’re still feeling crappy, head on over to my aptly-named post, Remaining Positive When Things Are Sh*tty.

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