The Best Meditative Practice Is Followed With a Song
How adding a personal anthem can improve your daily focus.
When you spend at least two hours each day driving in your car you quickly learn how to utilize that time to your advantage. This is how I became an audiobook addict, and more recently, a podcast junkie. So when my son plugged in his phone and blasted his Spotify playlist, I was surprised how much I’d missed listening to music.
I caught myself singing along with Panic! At the Disco (not something I would have chosen myself, although I enjoyed it very much). I realized — after dropping off my kid at his job — I felt amazingly energized.
This is what prompted me to find the best inspirational and encouraging songs I could find and then figure out when to add them to my morning routine.
Because I practice meditation first thing every morning, I start my day focused and renewed. Meditating is the most influential habit you could ever apply to your life. If you haven’t embraced it yet, I strongly recommend doing so.
I decided the calm, clear-minded state I’m in after meditation would be the best time to embrace my personal anthem playlist.
I want to be able to carry the music and lyrics with me for the rest of the day. I want that experience to remind me to keep striving for my goals with a positive attitude and a happy demeanor.
So I made a list of songs I enjoyed listening to. There are dozens — if not hundreds — of different genres of music out there. Some I love, others put me to sleep. And even some that make me want to rip my hair out. My list won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s because it’s compiled of my own personal preferences.
I choose songs wisely. When I find a song where the artist seems to be speaking directly to me I add it to my list. It helps to think of songs as possible anthems that inspire me to sing along, pump my fist in the air, or bust out an amazing dance move — or all three.
Positive lyrics work much better at inspiring me than dispiriting ones about struggling through life. I realized while making my list that some of the songs I loved weren’t going to make the final cut because they consisted of lyrics that were extremely depressing or self-deprecating. These are not the messages I want swimming around in my head all day.
If I want positive permanent change, I need songs that fulfill all the requirements for encouraging that — upbeat with positive lyrics. I only keep songs I want for my own daily personal pep rally. If it can’t ignite my enthusiasm, it doesn’t stay on my playlist.
I’ve found the best time to listen to my anthems is during my morning shower after meditating. Not only does the hot water peppering my skin feel invigorating, but singing along with the likes of P!nk energizes me to the point I feel almost invincible. And, of course, everyone sounds amazing singing in the shower.
Following up my meditative self-focus with an empowering playlist is like a shot of adrenaline after the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had in your life. I feel empowered and motivated. And I get to experience this feeling every single morning now.
I’m still an audiobook addict and podcast junkie when I’m driving. Because now, in the mornings after I meditate, I get my music fix as I belt out my anthems in the shower. My rubber ducky thinks I’m pretty cool.
Although everyone’s musical tastes are different, I think there are many songs that easily meet the criteria to be an anthem. Until you find some of your own, here’s a shortlist to get you started.
Good Feeling — Flo Rida
(And grab yourself a rubber ducky. It’s encouraging to see a smiling face when you’re passionately singing your own personal anthem.)