Over the last few years of meditating I’ve discovered a thousand and one ways in which it has benefitted me. If you have even a passing interest in health and wellness, odds are you’ve heard plenty about it by now.
But, being that I focus on skin care, let’s talk about just how much good it can do for your skin and your acne.
In the video below, I explain the benefits you will see in your outer layer, but mostly I want to help you actually do it, so I also give you five tips for meditating. If you’re new meditation, I promise it’s much easier than you think!
As always, you can skip below the video to read, if that’s how you like it!
Click play to take a look.
Don’t want to watch? Here are the highlights:
How meditation helps with skin
Mostly, it boils down to stress. I consider stress to be one of the biggest culprits to most people’s skin troubles, due to the hormonal fluctuations it causes. Beginning with cortisol, and winding up as androgens, these hormones are directly and indirectly responsible for breakouts. I highly encourage incorporating a daily stress relieving ritual into everyone’s life, and meditation is perfect for that.
Over time, meditating can retrain your brain and your body to better handle and process stress. You’ll find that you do not react as strongly to stressful situations, it is easier to keep your cool. Physiologically, it helps prevent hormones from getting so far out of whack. (I wish that were a scientific term!)
How meditate – 5 helpful steps
1. Understand you cannot get it wrong. Do not worry if you don’t get all zen, if you feel fidgety, if you don’t feel like you’re relaxing, if you’re brain won’t shut off. In the beginning, you’ll definitely feel that way. I still do sometimes too. It’s all good. Just dedicate the time and understand it’s a process.
2. Sit comfortably in a quiet place. Any position will do, but I suggest trying to have a straight spine. You can sit in a chair, on a pillow, where ever and however feels best to you. But I don’t recommend reclining or laying down, as that makes it more likely that you’ll fall asleep. Sleeping is nice and has it’s own benefits, but they are different from meditating. If you find yourself drifting off, you may want to try a different position.
3. Focus on your breath. You’re going to be breathing, obviously, but consciously focus on your breathing. Feel the air moving into and out of your lungs. You can mentally think “in” “out” as you breathe. You can breathe at whatever pace feels naturally relaxed for you, but if you find you’re breathing quickly, slow it down and deepen it a bit.
You may find it helpful to count as you breathe. I count on every exhale to 3, then start back again at 1. Sometimes my mind wonders and I find I got up to 10! That’s ok (you can’t get it wrong, remember). I just start back at one.
4. Let thoughts drift by. A common struggle people have is that they think the point is to stop thinking entirely. That’s probably not going to happen. Especially in the beginning. Now that you’re taking some quiet time, all those thoughts in the back of your mind that you’ve been pushing away because you were busy are going to come flooding up. That’s ok.
I like the analogy of your thoughts being a river. If you try to put up a damn and stop the thoughts, you’re going to build up pressure. It’s going to feel uncomfortable. Rather than stop the river, imagine you are on the bank, and you just let the thoughts drift by. The key is to not attach to the thoughts and follow them down stream. A common thought process may look like, “Did I feed the dog this morning? Oh, I need to get dog food. That means I need to stop by the store. Hm, I don’t know if I’ll have time, maybe I can leave work a few minutes early. That means I have to ask my boss and he hates that…” and so on. That’s follow the thoughts down river. Instead, just recognize that you’re following the thought, forgive yourself, then come back to focusing on your breath.
5. Make it a daily habit. Just as exercise is good for the body, meditation is good for the mind and soul. Also just like exercise, you can’t do it once, or occasionally and expect much. Some people find starting something new intimidating. But you can always start small. If I asked you to do 100 pushups, you probably couldn’t, but I bet you could do one. Tomorrow you could probably do two, and so on.
So, just start with a minute. Find your quiet space and set a timer. Do one minute a day for a week. Then try two, then three, etc. Build up to 10 or 20 if you can. Give it a few months to make it a real habit, then you’ll want to do it every day – because you’ll see and feel the benefits!
If you’ve never tried meditating before, or if you’ve been telling yourself any number of excuses as to why you can’t or don’t want to do it – I’ve got a great resource for you. My friend Sonya Joseph wrote a great little book, 25 Reasons You Don’t Want To Meditate: And How To Get Over Them. It’s inexpensive and a quick read. By the time you’re done, you’ll want to sit down and meditate!
I hope you found that helpful. Sit down and make a plan to fit this into your life. Designate a specific time every day. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
I love hearing from you. Are you going to try this? Why or why not? Do you already meditate? What benefits have you noticed? Leave a comment below!
Until next time Lovelies!