Weekly Wellbeing: The 21 Day Focus Challenge

Created for SCL by Nick Watson and Gary Waters

When we say meditation, it's easy to think of a buddhist sitting at the top of the mountain with their legs crossed, but time and time again, meditation has scientifically been proven to have a measurable impact on improving health, focus and wellbeing.

Many people give up on meditation because they think they're not good at it or that it won’t be worth their time, but that's not the point. We meditate to become self-aware of our mind racing with thought and through practice during moments of calm, can start to recognise when this is happening in day-to-day situations, and take it down a peg or two, back to the present moment.

How do you practice meditation?

There are different approaches, and we won't suggest one here just yet. We have heard a lot of good feedback around the Headspace app (top tip: If you join Anxiety UK as a member, you get the headspace app and it works out cheaper, otherwise most of the important parts of meditation are in the free course). Calm is also supposed to be a good app. Here are some top tips towards maintaining a good practice of meditation:

  1. Make sure you aren't hungry or thirsty

  2. Find a 5-20 minute window where you will not be disturbed, either through isolation or headphones/earplugs/etc. First thing in the morning is usually easier (later on, it's easier to make excuses for not doing it). Disengage all forms of distraction, such as technology (phones in particular), smells and noise.

  3. Sit comfortably (this doesn't necessarily have to be cross-legged), but not in a position where you are likely to fall asleep (avoid bed if you can due to the association). Your spine should be upright, but not supported.

  4. Unclench your jaw, soften your tongue, release your stomach, roll back and down your shoulders.

  5. Start with just 5 or 10 minutes for the first few days, and make sure you complete each session. Repetition is how we form new habits, and the reasoning behind meditation in the first place. If we make it habit, we start to do it naturally, at the acme of emotional chaos.

  6. Repeat for 21 days. This is incremental, so don't give up after just a couple of tries - it takes some time before you can observe change.

  7. Remember, remember - you can't do this wrong! Don't even set a goal for feeling calm or relaxed, just to complete the 3 weeks.

  8. Understand that you're about to witness how strong your mind is. For the first few sessions in particular, you will be thinking "I don't have time for this" or "this won't work", "this doesn't feel right" or feelings of discomfort. This is where real transformation starts, and it will be uncomfortable. We need to remember "uncomfortable" does not constitute "pain", and we can rise above it. We are not disregarding our thoughts, but if we go into them we energise and amplify them which isn’t what we want as they then distract us. Recognising them is enough.

  9. Remember you are in charge of your thoughts, and meditation can help tame them. Treat your mind as a wild horse, attempting to gallop off. Much like a horse, bring your mind back with your attention, settle it down and stay present, without judgement. Eventually the horse becomes tame.

  10. Repetition is everything.


SCL Weekly Wellbeing is created by Nick Watson and Gary Waters. #SCLweeklywellbeing

Unlike most Legal Technology entrepreneurs, Nick Watson https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickpwatson/ comes from a development background with a history of developing large, bespoke projects for a variety of industries including the Law. Launching in April 2016, Nick co-founded Ruby Datum, a user experience-driven, pioneering Virtual Data Room company. He also has a passion for wellbeing and is working towards a vision of a more mindful legal industry.

Gary Waters
https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-waters-742b10148/ is a respected coach and entrepreneur. Gary’s background includes building a #1 ranking hospitality business in one of the UK’s most competitive tourism markets in the South West of England. Gary decided to sell that business so that he could channel all his energy and focus into his passion, which is helping people through coaching. Gary specialises in helping clients develop an Empowered Mindset, which enables them to navigate life’s challenges on their own terms. He’s passionate about helping people create a life of purpose and fulfilment through Personal Coaching, Business Coaching and Consulting programmes.

Also see:
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: https://www.scl.org/blog/10886-scl-weekly-wellbeing
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Ultimate Life Hack: https://www.scl.org/blog/10892-scl-weekly-wellbeing-the-ultimate-life-hack
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Cold Shower: https://www.scl.org/blog/10901-scl-weekly-wellbeing-the-cold-shower
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: The Ultimate Skill - Where do you spend most of your day? https://www.scl.org/blog/11918-scl-weekly-wellbeing-the-ultimate-skill-where-do-you-spend-most-of-your-day
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: Happiness vs Fulfilment https://www.scl.org/blog/11922-scl-weekly-wellbeing-happiness-vs-fulfilment
SCL Weekly Wellbeing: What Are You Really Chasing? https://www.scl.org/blog/11934-scl-weekly-wellbeing-what-are-you-really-chasing

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Published: 2020-06-12T14:20:36

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