If you've been planning a wedding for a few weeks, or a few months, you'll know by now, that there are times when it can all feel a bit much.
Almost every bride and groom will have overwhelming moments, when they're about to lash out at the wrong person, or cancel it all and vow to elope.
But Lucie Lincoln is here to help. As a writer, keen meditator and newlywed, she knows all about finding inner calm as a bride.
She shares weekly wisdom and inspiration for living your best life on her blog, so who better to help us find our pre-wedding peace with meditation?
It might be an ancient practise, but meditation is seeing something of a revival of late, with many of the most successful people in the world, crediting it for their accomplishments.
So why not stop what you're doing, put down the planning binder, close your Pinterest tab, and see if meditation can help you find clarity and calm in all the planning chaos?
Take it away Lucie…
Find Peace in The Planning
So, you are in the midst of planning one of the best days of your life. Juggling suppliers, inspiration, your own and others expectations and a big to do list.
Whilst wedding planning can be one of the most joyful and exciting periods of our lives, it is a busy, often pressured and overwhelming time as well. We all want to have a great wedding day and relish the time we spend planning, but it can be easy to pile on the pressure and stop looking after ourselves.
When planning my own wedding I knew I wanted to enjoy the experience as much as I could and try to stay relaxed and happy throughout, this is why I turned to meditation.
Over the last few years mediation has grown in popularity, as more and more of us find this practice of presence and peace the perfect antidote to our busy and often overwhelming lives.
And without a doubt whilst it is such a special time, wedding planning can get very stressful. With this in mind, I wanted to share a beginners guide to meditation to give you the perfect tool to find some peace, in the midst of all the planning.
A Few Reasons To Give Meditation a Go
1. Meditation allows you to check in with yourself – Spending just a few minutes a day taking the time to listen to yourself, offers you not only peace, but clarity (a very important tool when juggling every one else's expectations and having to make decisions).
2. It is a great way to relax, as you meditate you change your physiology – Your stress levels go down, you calm your body and your mind. This also helps to improve your sleep.
3. It allows you to create more internal space – Wedding planning is filled with many ideas, things to do and decisions to make. This is a lot for our brain to handle and it is easy to get overwhelmed.
When we sit and breath we allow our mind to relax, clear the clutter and create more mental space to find the answers.
Ready to have a go? Perfect. Here is a simple seated meditation to get you started.
Meditation for Beginners
1. Find a space and time where you can be alone for at least 5 – 10 minutes.
2. Switch your phone to silent, turn off any distractions and try and find a quiet place.
3. Set a timer for somewhere between 5 – 10 mins. This is really important (especially when you are just starting out). By setting a timer you can make a commitment to the meditation beforehand and know that when you are finished the timer will ring. This will help calm anxiety as you meditate.
4. Find a place to sit or lie comfortably. It doesn't matter whether it is on the floor, on a chair, bed, sofa, just get comfortable.
5. Now you are all set, it is time to start your practice. Gently close your eyes and start to pay attention to your breath. Don't try and change it, just watch it as it comes in and out of your body.
If you find this difficult you can place your hands on your stomach and feel the rise and fall of your breath as your belly expands and contracts.
6. Next slowly start to lengthen each breath making your inhales and your exhales slightly longer. Try and focus on the space in between each breath. Notice the slight pause and silence between every inhale and exhale and allow yourself to just sit in that pause for a bit longer.
7. Continue this practice until your timer rings. You will undoubtedly have thoughts crop up, jobs to do and things to remember. When thoughts arrive firstly trust that if they matter they will come back to you when you have finished, so you don't need to hold on to them now. Then just let them go.
Think of your thoughts as clouds, and allow each one to drift by. If you find yourself lost in a thought just focus back on your breath. (You will probably find yourself repeating this pattern of getting lost in thought and returning to the breath over and over again.
Know that this is a huge part of the practice and a natural part of meditation. So don't beat yourself up and think you are doing it wrong, because you are not.)
8. Once your timer has gone simply open your eyes and allow your breathing to return to normal. Take a moment to check in and make a note of any thoughts, ideas or inspiration that comes to you.
And then congratulate yourself for having taken the time to look after yourself. And that in a nutshell is it. Congratulations, you have done it!
There are so many other types of meditation and practices you can try so in the next post I will share some of my favourite practices for some classic wedding scenarios and offer some more techniques to help you use meditation to make this period of your life the most joyful, relaxed and fun it can be.
But for the meantime I would encourage you to get started and make your wedding planning not only a time to cherish your partner but also yourself.
We feel calmer already just from reading this, we can't wait to try it ourselves at home!
Do share you tips for easing pre-wedding stress and anxiety in the comments below.
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