“It’s taken me a long time to understand how different we all are. There’s no right way, no wrong way, just the way that works for us... There is no magical one-size-fits-all solution.”
- In an episode of the Meditative Story podcast, happiness expert Gretchen Rubin talks about everyone’s path to happiness being different.
Use a Meditation App
We know that meditation is good. (Well, great really!) But a lot of us still don’t do it.
Why? Because it’s actually kinda difficult. It takes dedication. It takes the willingness to find time away from the noise and to be alone with your thoughts.
So if you’re struggling to make a habit out of it, here’s a way to make it easier: Use an app.
Many apps offer guided meditations. If you’re a beginner, these can lead you through the basic steps and get you started. From there, you can find guided meditations designed for specific things (like stress relief, sleep, etc).
And since your phone is (let’s face it) pretty much always with you, you can do your meditation anywhere.
Now, some would argue that using our stress-inducing devices to meditate is counterintuitive. And exercising some digital moderation is always advised.
But if we look at the research, meditation apps have proven overwhelmingly beneficial – at least in comparison to no meditation at all.
In one study, the Calm app was found to “reduce stress and improve mindfulness and self-compassion”. The Headspace app has been shown to increase positive feelings and make people kinder.
Why not give one a try? If it helps you reap the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, that can only be a good thing.
Are you your own worst critic? Yep – most of us are! It’s easy to fall into that trap.
But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back. In fact, it’s a good way to boost your productivity!
Allow us to explain... When you celebrate your wins, it’s a reminder that – yes! – you are making progress. Acknowledging this energizes you and inspires you to keep going. It’s known as “the progress principle” and research shows it’s real.
Celebrating wins is so powerful for building momentum that we’ve made it a key part of the Panda Planner design.
Notice in your End Of Day Review section that there’s space to record three wins from the day. And in the weekly section of your Panda Planner, you can review your big wins from the week before.
Now, just a reminder that big wins can be anything that counts as progress for you – even if it may seem insignificant to others. The important thing is to build that little chain of positive steps, no matter how small. In time, they will add up to great things.
Are you using your planner to record and celebrate wins? If not, why not try it tomorrow? And as always, we’d love to know how you do.
Niki Leondakis, CEO of CorePower Yoga
Formerly the CEO of Equinox Fitness, Niki Leondakis is now using her executive prowess to head up the US’s largest chain of yoga studios. So is yoga part of her own morning routine? You bet! Here’s how she rolls:
- Wakes up at 5 am.
- Lies in bed for 10-15 minutes contemplating what lies ahead and meditation on her upcoming day. “I try to set an intention. What is the most important thing that I have going on today and what do I want the outcome to be?”
- Does some yoga. Niki says she does a lot of yoga in the mornings and works with a private teacher twice a week.
Why it works:
- Research supports waking up early – with the caveat that you also go to bed early and get enough sleep.
- By setting an intention in the morning, your day has more purpose. Being specific with your intentions can also help you achieve your goals.
- There’s a large body of research on the benefits of practicing yoga. Improving lower back pain, lowering stress levels, boosting mood, and improving mind-body connection are just a few of them.
Given the research-backed benefits of yoga, it’s worth giving it a shot. Just bear in mind that there are many different types and styles of yoga, and it’s important to find one that suits your health and skill level. For example, you don’t want to injure yourself by jumping headfirst (literally) into a headstand.
If you’re a complete beginner, just start slow. Try some gentle stretches and basic yoga poses and see how you feel. YouTube has a wealth of follow-along videos and classes for free, so try searching for one that suits you.