I am a little bit of an exercise fanatic, but recently I have started meditating. Although I am no expert, I must say that I think it has had a significant impact on my life and my mental health. Most days I can find five to ten minutes to myself to catch a quick meditation. The dividends it pays to the rest of my day are invaluable. I find that my focus increases. My anxiety decreases. My sense of time is expanded and slowed down. Allowing me to find the presence of mind to accomplish the tasks that lay before me.
“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak” ~Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Meditating doesn’t have to be done sitting cross legged in the middle of the floor surrounded by candles and giant gongs (although it can be). You can meditate seated in a chair, lying on your back on the floor or even do what is called “mindful walking” to get your meditation in. There are a number of reasons why you should meditate and all of them are good ones.
Daily meditation will give you a better understanding of your pain. Quieting the mind is a good way to find out where the stress and anxiety in your life is coming from and will allow healing of that pain to begin. Mindfulness helps to relieve stress which in turn improves immune function. Spending some time getting quiet with yourself will help hone your focus, reduce brain-chatter, and help you connect better with others.
“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” ~David Lynch
How do I get started? You might ask. There are plenty of easy to download exercise and meditation apps available on your smart phone. My favorite is the Stop, Breathe & Think app. I like this one because there is a section to check in with yourself before beginning your meditation. A quick check in can be helpful to identify what exactly you are feeling before deciding which meditation best fits that moment. Try it for a week and see what impact it has on your life. The important thing is that you do it. As an old zen adage states “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy; then you should sit one hour.”
“5 Reasons to Meditate” – mindful.org
“19 Science-Backed Reasons to Meditate” – greatist.com