Meditation: Fitness For The Mind
I was going to write out a post highlighting some of the benefits of meditation and busting some of the myths. Seems this awesome infographic beat me to the punch.
Not mentioned above that may peak the interest in many…..
When should you meditate?
- Start with just 5 minutes in the morning before you do anything else and too many distractions arise.
- Before bed (yes, your prayers and thoughts of gratitude count as form of meditation)
- When you feel overwhelmed (Too many tabs open in your brain?)
- If you are having trouble making a decision
- Before writing, public speaking, meeting people
- Feeling any sort of anxiety or depression
- Anytime you have a few spare minutes (instead of scrolling through your favorite social media feed…I am guilty myself here)
How to MEDITATE?
Simply think of meditation as taking time to sit quietly and breathe deeply.
- Sit in a comfortable position, but make sure you sit up straight. Sit cross legged on a folded blanket or pillow to elevate the hips. You can also use the wall to support your spine if you need to. If you are more comfortable in a chair that works also, move away from the back of the chair and ground feet into the floor, keep the spine straight.
- Select a calm and quiet place. Turn off electronics or remove them from the area during your meditation. If a distraction does occur, simply acknowledge it and return back to focusing on your breath.
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply, focusing on the inhale and exhale. (Counting helps. Try inhaling for a count of 6, holding for a count of 2, and exhaling for 6. Giving your mind this simple task to focus on will help clear your head)
- The goal is to train the mind, NOT necessarily empty it of all thoughts. It is normal to have thoughts arise. The trick is to just “notice” them but do not react (create situations in your mind around them). I once had a teacher describe it as cleaning up a desktop. Each time a thought enters your mind simply attach a label to it. (Feeling, action, person, sound, ect.) Then imagine dragging it and organizing it into its proper file, then continue focusing on breathing in and out until the next thought may arise and repeat.
Consistency is more important than duration, so schedule in the time for yourself each day.
- Start small and stay consistent. Goal of just 3-5 minutes a day. Eventually work to increase this time after establishing the daily habit. Set a timer before you start.
- Create a regular routine. Specific time and location.
MEDITATion on the fly
Take note of those moments when you feel overwhelmed, as this is the PERFECT time to use this tool that you have been practicing every morning. No matter where you are you can use meditation technique to calm yourself or even reenergize yourself depending on the situation. Take the time to slow down and reconnect with your breath. Breathing deeply will activate the parasympathetic nervous system (also referred to as “rest and digest”) and this is where healing and recovery occurs. Once you take this time for yourself, you can come back from it with a clear mind and feel rejuvenated.
Even Charlie makes sure to get in is time on the meditation pillow….
In my next post I will share some more mediation techniques…
Comment below if you have any other resources you would like to share or tell us about your personal experiences with meditation!