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Meditation continues to be a go-to for all experts in Mental Health. For us pandemic parents, we need all the stress relief we can get.

Stressed? Meditate. Depressed? Meditate. Anxious? Meditate.

I’ve attempted meditation, and felt like I was quite inept at the process. Which, in turn, made me feel quite inept as a human. How can one screw up sitting and doing nothing?

What I didn’t understand, was that meditation is actually something you have to do with intention. The mind cannot literally draw a blank until you’ve mastered the art.

Certainly many of you in the wild have heard of and even often enjoy guided mediation. This would be where a mediation coach would present imagery or some other form of thinking while performing meditation. For example, one form would be when the leader teaches you to tense and then relax muscles, training your brain to focus on that project instead of your daily worries.

For years I have attempted free mediation and guided meditation, and it’s only made me hate meditation. If you have had the same duress, this post might help you.

I’ve accidentally meditated through music. As is the theme of my blog, music is my solution to all life issues. Relaxation is definitely a part. You see, in absolute silence, my brain likes to default to the negative. Let’s remember every problem that ever existed in eternity. How calming is that?

No. Music helps me to relax, and then presents an uplifting mood to make the meditation effective. My brain apparently needs a helping hand to find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lately, a viral video has been “Vibing Cat”. People have been cheering themselves up from the monotony of this lockdown. They have taken a cat, who is jamming to the music, and changed the song, the visual, the people dancing with the cat, so on and so forth. I have found this to be a delight.

One of my favorites is “Cat Vibing to Ievan Polkka”. Many versions of this video can be found on YouTube to anyone’s enjoyment. Mr Ievan Polkka is playing the Bongos at a beachside park, and Cat is living the dream. I put on the one that loops for ten hours, and I am happy as a clam. Someone started a series with the Cat, Biden on the Bongos, and Trump having a dance-off. While we know such unity is not possible in reality, it is nice to see everyone acting mature as once. I was pleased to see people took to it, and started adding other people in the video, including an adorable doggo rocking out in the bottom right.

I never expected to like such a video. The music isn’t my usual rock, pop, or classic flavor, and yet I can’t get enough. The repetitive drum beat literally resets my brain waves, causing them to find strength. The joyous chanting causes me to feel suddenly successful and enlightened. Throw in the crowds “enjoying” the music with me, and I feel on top of the world. In addition, my two year old automatically says “Cat! Meow.” once I turn the video on, so she joins in the fun.

Jazz music is often what I turn to when I need to be relaxed yet productive. Here again, the delightful rhythms attract my brain waves, causing my mind to actually function properly. In the mornings I wake up wondering why we have to. Pop on a live morning jazz session, and suddenly my day begins.

After a long, good, productive day, I try to get my child to sleep. “Birdland Jazz Lullabies” are excellent tunes to get her in the sleepiest of moods. The videos Birdland posts also include gorgeous and adorable pictures that go with the songs, making the bedtime routine happy.

I often get addicted to playlists, bopping to the same ten songs in those moments I need a boost of energy. The other day I decided to break it up, and asked Alexa to put on “70s Easy Listening Music”. She did not disappoint. The happiest of moods came over me as I was listening to “What A Wonderful World”, “A Lovely Day”, a group of Stevie Wonder Hits, and of course the good old Carpenters. Just had to say to myself what I always say to myself, why do the times have to keep getting harder? To which I respond, the times aren’t harder, you’re just turning into an old woman.

I could most certainly sit down with some headphones on, and do happy visualization to some 70s tunes.

From a day to day standpoint, meditation is tough to squeeze in. By the time we get done work, cleaning, cooking, time with our friends and loved ones, on top of basic needs and then that 5 minutes of “Me Time”, it’s already tomorrow. If you can, pop on some of these musical blends or similar productions, and maybe the repetitive, upbeat, and relaxing sounds will produce the same effect.

Here’s to a Happy 2021!

Originally published here

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