This was my second time completing a challenge of this kind, when I first did it I started at 15 minutes and worked my way up to an hour.
At the time I wrote down some thoughts:
“I had days when I just wanted to get the meditation out of the way, days when I felt agitated and not at ease. And yes, I did give in to the urge of checking the clock at times and thinking when is this going to end? But I stuck to it, it was all learning. How would I know what it felt like to meditate for an hour if I didn’t gradually increase the minute day by day? Although an hour seems like a very long time (imagine waiting for the bus for that long) by breaking my practice into small steps meant that I made it possible. There is no way I could’ve jumped from a 10 minute meditation to an hour without incrementally working my way up there.”
Although this challenge was from 1 minute to 30 minutes I still had a different experience. I found that meditating had become much less of a struggle, I felt less disrupted and I didn’t feel as though I was resisting my mind from wandering, rather I just accepted it.
I figured out what works best and feels most natural to me.
For a number of you, it has been the very first experience of meditation and for others it has been the first time meditating up to 30 minutes.
I individually asked the people who participated to kindly offer their thoughts about the whole experience.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I put this challenge out there, and I feel pretty honoured that so many of you took part in it with me.
I loved engaging with you every single one of you and I appreciate you being open with your feelings throughout the month.
Please have a read of their personal reflections; they are really honest and insightful.
I hope they can convince you to try and implement some mindful meditation into your life too.
M: Morning Sabrina, just wanted to say thank you for introducing me to the Mindful Minutes Challenge. I thought it was great – I found it very therapeutic and it definitely helped me to gather my thoughts and focus throughout the day. Everyday I found myself really looking forward to the meditation session. Initially I thought that the last few days with the most minutes would be difficult but actually I enjoyed them the most, and 30 minutes felt like 30 seconds – to the point where some days I done more! This is something I’ll definitely incorporate into my schedule, especially once I go back to work full time again. Thanks again! xx
L: I really enjoyed the mindful minute’s challenge I struggled at first and was a little worried about meditating for so long but I found it a lot easier than expected. I felt really relaxed and enjoyed just slowing down for a few minutes. I learnt that just spending a few minutes in silence focusing on yourself can have a huge difference to you mentally. I will definitely continue meditating every day.
J: Hi Sabrina, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the Mindful Minutes challenge. Thank you for asking me to take part. I really thought I would struggle as I’m always on the go!! I found myself thinking about lots of relaxing things and places, if I did start to loose concentration, focusing on the breathing really helped. I definitely learnt how to relax my mind and feel a lot calmer in myself, not as stressed. On the whole it was a lot easier than I thought. I really thought I would be a massive failure at this and I’m quite proud of myself. I will definitely be doing it again. I will time myself but without an alarm so I will see what sort of time I can do. I will try and do at least a few moments every day. Watch this space I will let you know how many Mindful Minutes I do in July. Thanks again for asking me to take part. Xxx
W: I have tried meditation in the past and it has been neither a positive or relaxing experience. So I was really excited to try this challenge, as starting with just 1 minute and building on that day by day seemed much more achievable. For the first 4 days I found it quite easy and could remain in relaxed state without thinking too much. But I did struggle to keep my concentration and focus for 5 minutes but really wanted to stay with the challenge. I found some meditation music which I have been using and it has been really positive. I really focused on the different sounds and imagined that I am in the place that the music is taking me. I have found that meditation over 22-23 mins has been a little bit harder, but I am keeping with it to see if it will improve. I have really enjoyed the process and learning about what I feel whilst meditating and after. I am surprised myself, that I could achieve a state that is calm and relaxed by meditating. After meditation I feel lighter in myself, my mind is more restful and I feel less chaos and anxiety. I will definitely bring meditation into my life. I feel the benefits of making time to relax and focus my mind on calmness and learning to be still, is a positive influence on my life. I will make time to meditate 4 times a week and for 20 minutes as I feel at the moment that is the length of time I felt I was in the right mindset. I did struggle to find time every day and so 4 times a week is a better fit for me. I am so pleased that I have done this challenge and I am really enjoying learning how it is allowing me to manage my stress and giving me time to just be still and calm. Love it Sabrina, thank you so much! ??♀️??❤️
D: Hey sis, I did find it useful, I think the slow start and building up the minutes is a great way to get into it. Meditation does help with clearing my mind and I plan to keep it up, however, probably not as long, I feel 10 mins is plenty for me.
A: Hi Sabrina I can’t believe that we’ve done it for 28 days it felt a bit unnatural at first but after about three days it felt like I was getting used to it. After the first week it felt really good to have a quiet peaceful part of the day and it feels like yesterday when we were on 1 minute and now today I’ve done 28! When you first mentioned it on your story I never thought I would be able to do thirty minutes but now there’s only 2 days left and I’m quite proud I’ve done it. Thank you for starting the challenge because I would have never even tried anything like this and I will definitely carry on doing it after the 30 days x
S: I really enjoyed Sabrina’s ZoD challenge, it was both challenging and empowering. I had to make a few adjustments as I found I was at peace whilst outside, so I spent many of my mindfulness minutes alone on the beach…basically listening to the sea and feeling the wind! I felt pretty emotional, I faced many emotions which made me initially feel very irritable but when I settled, I always felt better for it. 20-25 minutes is perfect for me. I initially thought it would be too challenging and I’d get ‘bored’ but after speaking to Sabrina and making a couple adjustments which worked for me, it became easier and is now a very important part of my day!
L: So at first I found the challenge really difficult, for the first few days I used to be quite conscious of how much time was passing by and it felt like forever ? but weirdly as the days went on I got more comfortable just sitting with my thoughts and the time didn’t seem as much of an issue anymore. I think I would do it again but not every day, only every now and again when I felt that I needed it as it did made me feel peaceful and calm. I feel like it helped me have a positive start to my day if I did it in the morning. And if I did it in the evening it helped me de-stress before bed which was nice. It was definitely helpful.
A: I accepted taken on the challenge 1, to support my sister and her mission to support the well-being of others and 2 because I was curious to see how effective it would be in supporting my mindset. So in short yes it did have an effect on my mindset. Every time I took part in mindful minutes I came back round with a feeling of what I can only describe as a natural high! I enjoyed setting up in the evening and taking time out to practice my mindful minutes. I began to find it more difficult at about the 20 minutes mark! I found my head wondering and then having to draw my focus back onto my breathing .Funny enough although I struggled with 20 minutes + and regularly had to take pauses because I would get restless, I found my 30 mindful minutes to be a smooth run. Yes I will carry on meditating but I think my mindful minutes max is around the 15 minutes mark, as this was when I was most at peace whilst meditating. I underestimated how hard it was to keep a clear head and switch off from the world. For me practicing stillness and clearing my head was a struggle in itself as I’m naturally a very busy person. But taking that time out for just myself lifted a heavy weight off my shoulders, which I didn’t know existed. Thank you for the experience Sabrina x
S: Sabrina, I have really enjoyed your Mindfulness Challenge! Life is so full of ‘noise’ and this has taught me to dedicate time to eliminate the ‘noise‘ and to allow my mind to be quiet and still. It has amazed me how calming and therapeutic it has been to consciously let my mind have some planned quiet time. I will definitely continue to dedicate time to do more. Thank you! X
A: So all in all I enjoyed doing the meditation found it at times to be very relaxing. A bit harder at times to be so still and listen to all my thoughts. Through this I’ve learnt that I need to make more time for myself as just a few minutes to stop was a bit too much for me lol. It was definitely harder than I expected. Would definitely try and meditate more often. I definitely need to find inner peace. I think I need to learn more about meditating. All in all it was a great experience for me, it does make you think about things.
R: My experience while taking part in the mindful minute challenge was amazing. As a young professional who is used to the chaotic and busy work schedule, the mindful minute challenge allowed me to ensure I took accountable for my mental state. It reminded me always take a moment no matter where I am to clear my head and to take a breath. In our Modern day society, people are constantly reminded that time waits for no one and that we must multitask when possible and make every minute count. However the same emphases isn’t placed when it comes to mental health. The mindful minute challenge changes this belief.
D: I really enjoyed this challenge, I have had some previous experience with meditation but only for about 5 mins per session. I really liked the concept of increasing the meditation time a minute per day, I found it made it easier to meditate for a longer period of time. I chose to meditate at night time with a candle in a silent room. I found this extremely helpful with getting a good night sleep, it allowed me to clear my mind of everything that went on during the day. However I struggled with meditation when I got to about 18-20 minutes. I found my mind wondering and waiting for the timer to go off. After asking Sabrina for advice to help me concentrate, I managed to meditate for a solid 22 minutes with the help of rain forest sounds off my google home. Unfortunately I have struggled to reach the total of 30 mins and I must admit it was harder than I expected ?. However this challenge had allowed me to recognise the importance of mental well-being. Taking a few minutes out to relax my mind and body has improved my sleep, my overall mood and feel within myself ? I would definitely do the challenge again!
G: Hi Sabrina, Meditation helped me become more grounded, especially in the early days of lock down. I finally had time to process a lot of the situations occurring before. I learnt that it was just as equally important to look after and if I’m 100 % then the people around me are getting the full attention and dedication of my time. Yes I will keep up with meditating, as its centered me and helped me sleep better. I’m so glad I did this xxx
Reading these reflections makes my heart feel so full ❤️
Not only do I hope that you’ve been convinced to try meditation but I would also like you to takeaway this:
With everything in life if there is something you want to achieve, my only advice would be to start off small and gradually build step-by-step.
With hard work and self-belief it all becomes possible.
You can and will get there.
Be consistent and push past the point of any discomfort you may initially feel.