Aisha Tyler Opens Up About Her #SpreadTheHealth Challenge
All month long, the hosts of CBS'sThe Talkare taking small steps towards positive change withPrevention's #SpreadTheHealth Challenge. Here, we talk with host Aisha Tyler about how she fit daily meditation into her hectic schedule, and her advice for how you can do the same. (Check out how Julie Chen did on her challenge!)
Aisha's #SpreadTheHealth Challenge:Relax
Her goal:Daily meditation
Why did you decide to work toward making daily meditation a regular part of your day?
I have a wildly busy life, and for the most part, I love how complex and challenging my days can be. I thrive on adrenaline and I love challenging myself to do better and be better every day. But occasionally, I do get overwhelmed and can feel stressed and at loose ends. My mother has been hassling me (she would say "gently encouraging") to meditate as a way to stay centered and manage stress, and this year I chose to really focus on developing a daily meditation practice. I planned to start very small, just 2 to 5 minutes a day, to make sure that it didn't feel too daunting. Anyone can sit still for 2 minutes, right?
What was the biggest obstacle towards making your change, and how did you overcome it?
I hate sitting still. Every minute of every day is scheduled, and if I have a moment to myself, I wonder what task I've forgotten to do or what critical obligation has fallen through the cracks. When I'm at rest, I feel guilty. So it was incredibly hard to stop, sit still, and breathe.
Honestly, I would give myself a C- in terms of completing the task I set out for myself. Each day it seemed there was something more important to do than meditate; answer e-mails, return phone calls, read scripts, make dinner. Responding to outside demands took precedence over taking care of my inner calm. In the end, it was Sara [Gilbert] reminding me each day that got me back on track. We actually got a chance to meditate together once, which helped because I was caught up in work that day and procrastinating wildly. She really helped me reconnect with my commitment.
MORE: 8 Simple Meditations That Can Change Your Life
What was the biggest benefit you reaped from implementing your small change?
I actually do love meditating, and when I carve out the time to do it, I immediately feel calmer, more grounded, and happier. It's transformational—nothing has ever been more effective at improving my mood or changing my perspective in a shorter period of time.
Did you learn anything new about yourself along the way?
I learned I have a long way to go toward dialing back my 100-mile-an-hour personality. I want to rest more, and I know rest and stress management will have a positive effect on everything in my life, including my productivity. But somehow when it comes time to carving out a few minutes for myself, I still struggle to do it.
Do you see this small change improving your health in 2019?
I hope so! I plan to make 2019 a year where I take better care of myself, rest more, and create more space for creativity and mental growth. I know that meditating could be a key component in improving my creative output, while diminishing stress and improving my physical and mental health. If I can manage to be more regular with it, I know it will have a long-lasting positive impact on my creative and personal life.
Ready for your own #SpreadTheHealth Challenge? Get inspiration here!
Do you plan on continuing with this small change once the challenge is over?
I really hope to get more regular about meditating. I don't know that I'll be able to manage a daily practice, at least in the short term. But I'll meditate weekly, or even semiweekly, with the hopes of building up to a more frequent practice over time.
Has making this small change inspired you to make other healthy shifts?
I didn't quite get this small change dialed in, so I'm just going to continue to focus on meditating and stress management for the time being. I can't get too ambitious, or I'll be setting myself up for failure.
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