Meditation can make you healthier!
When you think of meditation, do you think of people in long robes seated cross-legged on the floor with their hands on their knees, palms up and chanting? I used to, as well.
I’m summarizing here – One of Webster’s definitions of meditation is to engage your mental awareness to try to achieve a heightened level of spiritual awareness. Another definition is to focus your thoughts.
For me, that just means to clear my head. I close my eyes and breathe for a few minutes, thinking of absolutely nothing. When my head is clear, I’m calmer and ready to tackle difficult (and not-so-difficult) tasks. If my mind starts to wander, I can recognize this and shut down those intrusive thoughts.
Clear mind = calmness
The nice thing about meditation this way is that I can do it anywhere (except when I’m driving!). If I’m at work and I’ve been bombarded with customer requests, I can just sit at my desk, close my eyes and meditate for a few minutes.
I’m more productive when my mind isn’t scattered. I can focus on one task and complete it. And when I’m productive, I’m happier. And when I’m happier, I tend to eat healthier, exercise for a longer time and with more intensity.
The last couple of weeks have been difficult for me – read the last few posts – and meditation has helped me over some of the worst hip and back pain. I recognize the pain, close my eyes, try to think of nothing, breathe, and after a few minutes the pain has subsided a bit.
Meditation is for everyone! A beginner’s guide:
Even if you’ve never meditated before, you can try it. Right now: just sit back. (Read this paragraph first…) You can set a timer for 5 minutes if you like – if you’re afraid you’ll take too long with your eyes closed and might miss something. Put your phone down. Put your hands in your lap. Close your eyes. Think of nothing. If a stray thought enters your mind, accept it and get rid of it. Picture it like a cloud – just floating away. And just breathe.
Now open your eyes. Feel refreshed? I thought so!
If you had trouble getting rid of your thoughts, sometimes a guided meditation works better. Just descriptions of peaceful places. Here are 3 free .mp3 downloads: Each is just a couple of minutes to get you started: