Clear your mind. Stop thinking about the groceries you need to buy, the coworker who you had an argument with, your kids next soccer practice. Just stop thinking. Stop thinking about not thinking.
During our waking hours our minds are constantly filled with thoughts. One after another, good or bad, productive or nostalgic, they come and go. Often times, we allow our thoughts to get the best of us. We become overwhelmed, stressed, and emotional. Meditation offers us a way to focus our attention, even if just for a few minutes, to find a sense of calm and peace. It allows us to release stress, foster positivity, and appreciate the present moment.
Meditation is not only a good reset during a stressful day, but it also has incredible health benefits. Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice can lower blood pressure, improve cellular health, lower cholesterol levels, reduce the production of stress hormones including cortisol, improve immune function, and decrease anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In addition, meditation has also been shown to improve the neuroplasticity of the brain!
There are several different types of meditation and it is important to find the practice that works best for you. Many people new to meditation will start with some form of concentrative meditation. This means focusing ones attention on a single point, whether it be ones breath, a candle flame, a word or a mantra. In this form of meditation, when the mind begins to wander, you refocus your attention on your chosen point, acknowledging the thoughts that enter your mind and then letting them go.
Other types of meditation include guided meditation, movement meditation including tai chi and yoga, and spiritual meditation.
“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Written by Darcy VanGundy | Photo courtesy of Shutterstock