Growing up I had never heard the term “introvert”. When I heard a description, and began reading about introverts, it made sense. I had instinctively knew and finally understood why quiet time alone was such a high priority for me to recharge and get back in balance. I call myself a “social introvert” because I love hanging out with people, laughing, sharing stories, but drained after a party or social gathering. Sylvester McNutt III calls this being an “Ambivert” which he describes below. Does this describe you or someone you know?
“I’m both: introvert and extrovert. I like people, but I need to be alone. I’ll go out, vibe and meet new people but it has an expiration, because I have to recharge. If I don’t find the valuable alone time I need to recharge I cannot be my highest self.” ~ Sylvester McNutt III
As an introvert, meditation changed my life…
Meditation, as with most things, the more you practice the easier it gets. And, the benefits you reap such as feeling more grounded & centered, less reactive to negativity, better able to protect your energy from being drained and more are all worth the effort. The Daily Introvert posted a very informative article “Why Meditation is Essential for Introverts“ that is spot on about the benefits of meditation for introverts, or anyone for that matter.
I try to meditate every day but over the holidays I once missed three days in a row. Boy did I feel it! It WAS the holiday season and busier than normal, but I noticed such a difference in how I handled myself and how I FELT when I didn’t mediate. Each day I missed I became a little more anxious about my “to do list” and less living in the moment. than when I meditate regularly. When I got back to meditating that inner peace and calm was back instantly, and my hectic schedule didn’t frustrate me as I was better able to be centered, relaxed and go with the flow.
Try meditating for 10 minutes (even 5 is worth it) before an important meeting, party, lunch date or….how about right now?!
- Find a comfortable place to sit, place your hands in your lap, legs crossed or feet on the ground if you’re in a chair,
- Close your eyes and gently breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times before returning to your normal breath.
- When your mind starts wandering (& it will!) to thinking about your calendar, what to plan for dinner or whatever, mentally say “thank you” to dissolve the thought and refocus on your breath again. Another “monkey mind” technique a former Yoga teacher taught me was to think of distracting thoughts as light clouds in a big blue sky that you blow away to clear your mind.
Ahhhhhh, didn’t that feel good!?! There is nothing like that blissful feeling after meditating. It’s amazing how much more I enjoy socializing when I am more grounded. If you’re out and starting to feel anxious, take a break to a quiet space, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to recenter (like a mini- meditation). I’ve done this and it worked wonders.
As you practice and get more comfortable with meditating there are many types of meditation to explore. I like to mix it up, sometimes I’ll listen to a guided meditation, or with soft music or silence (you will learn to accept and ignore outside distractions), even a walking meditation is divine. I’ve also attended group meditations which are amazing! Practicing Yoga (especially Hatha, Yin or Flow Yoga) can also be a type of meditation if you allow it to be.
One more thing…
Check out the book “Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking“ by Susan Cain. I’ve talked about this book before and it’s a great read for introverts and the extroverts who love them.
Till next time…
Peace & Love,