Meditation: Achieving Peace and Mental Rest Through Slowing Down
In the beginning of 2020, we may have made a New Year’s resolution to slow down our lives, but then BOOM! The spring hit with craziness where our lives suddenly halted, our world halted for that matter. The halt doesn’t necessarily mean a slow down for many of us. Maybe for some, we’re still running full speed through each day, week and suddenly another month has passed. Our lives are busier than ever. For some maybe you have been able to slow down, which has allowed time for you and your family to come together, enjoying the season. Regardless, for most of us there’s room to slow down our lives even more, whether it be in a particular area of life such as with our family, in our career, or in commitments, etc. By slowing down, we can become more intentional, living at peace where we can reflect on what really matters most to us in this wonderful life we have.
Why it’s important for health to slow down
How many times have you said “Wow, where has the time gone? Yet another year has passed?” or “Can’t summer be a little longer?” Much of that time was probably spent checking off things on the to-do list, working through our careers, starting each day with tasks ahead that needed done, only to wake up and repeat this habitual cycle. While habit and routine can be beneficial, as we do need order, it’s when habit becomes detrimental and harnessing as we obey life’s demands rather than live intentionally with our hearts, that we need to readjust our priorities.
This is where meditation can be a huge game changer! Now before you allow any judgments to flood your mind, I encourage you to read on and understand how meditation can be valuable.
What is Meditation?
The practice of meditating focuses on coming to a mental place of relaxation where one focuses on the awareness of being in the moment. One becomes mindful of feelings and changes within the body while staying in a calm, still state such as when sitting, standing, walking or laying down. One may find peace and stillness in walking in nature, while another likes the quiet of a particular room of the house in the morning. I’m sure you’re probably thinking- I don’t have time for that! Or meditating is definitely not for me! I’ve tried.
Trust me I used to think the same things, too!
Benefits of Meditation
Stress is a hormonal response taking place in the body that causes our minds to be burdens with looming fears and worries. How often are we worrying about things in the future that could happen or how many unchecked boxes we have left on our to-do lists? Rather than focusing on one thing at a time, one moment at a time, we think big picture with lots of overwhelming fears. Did you know that digestive issues, insomnia, irritable moods, skin rashes, frequent sickness (cold or flu) and depression could be a result of high levels of stress? Further, long-term stress can cause increased mental health frailties. Again, another reason why here and now is the time to slow down, let go of worries and just be. We can really damage our bodies in ways we aren’t even realizing, taking a toll on our physical, mental and spiritual health each and every day.
Increased connection with our bodies
When we learn how to focus on our breath in quiet moments, we start to feel everything going on in our bodies. When we make this a daily practice, it will become easier for one to detect any changes in the body and how your emotions change, too. If we quiet your minds, we can really “hear” what the body is telling us based on how we feel. I’m sure your body is trying to tell you something that it’s been trying to get across for quite a while now, but you never stopped to cater to his/her needs.
Meditating can actually change the function and structure of the mind. This means by eliminating fears and potential hazardous stressful situations, your brain enters a state of relaxation where there is now the mental capacity for increased focus, learning, memory and concentration. Meditation helps sustain the attention span allowing one to take in more information through actively engaging in learning through the use of all senses.
Beyond the listed reasons, there are quite a few other benefits to practicing meditation. So, are you ready to give it a try?
The first best thing you can do is to schedule time for YOU! This means making time for you each day. Many people like to start their mornings in quiet and/or settle down in the evenings with meditation. By setting aside 5-10 minutes a day to start, will ensure time to actually start learning how to meditate. It’s easy to say “oh I’ll start tomorrow” or “Maybe not today, I’m too busy!” Schedule time and stick to it. Next, decide where you will want to practice your meditation. At first it’s going to be about consistency and patience. To note, there are different mediation styles and room for adaptation on an individual basis. What’s best for you probably may not be the ideal for someone else.
Ultimately, by engaging in meditation, we will be in a place to practice a greater level of self-love, self-esteem and increase positivity. I mean who doesn’t want a little more positively in their life? It’s truly amazing how meditation can change your life in many ways, if you allow yourself to engage and practice being mindful, present and intentional. Overtime, you will start to live more intentionally with your heart and approach situations with more peace and clarity. I highly encourage you to give it a try and reach out letting me know how you’ve seen it touch your life!
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