It was about a year ago that I started meditating. I try to put aside time daily even if it’s just for a few minutes. The longest I have managed is 15 minutes. That really isn’t a long time given there are 24 hours in a day. I would bet that I spend more time thinking about meditating than actually doing it. I was on a roll for a bit, and then I stopped. I had that conversation in my head. The one that goes like this “I don’t really need to do this. I am fine. I think I am fine without it. Am I fine?” I am back to meditating after a break. Taking a few minutes in the morning to sit quietly helps me start my day on solid ground.
Meditation is about relaxation. The goal is to become thoughtless. In some ways it’s more difficult than doing push-ups. If you don’t believe me, give it a try! Here’s how:
- Find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
- Get into a comfortable position.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your natural breathing rhythm.
- If a thought pops into your head acknowledge it, let it go, and come back to your breathing.
I am not at a place yet where I can shut out the noises in my environment so I use headphones and my phone. I have used one of the many Apps that are available when I first started. There are guided meditations that can help with just about anything – stress, fear anxiety, sleep … you name it, it’s there. Some are better than others. The secret is to find a guide/teacher with a voice and a message that you like. That is the first step in the relaxation process. From there it’s as easy as pushing the button.
Having a daily practice can reduce stress and improve awareness. It has been linked to the reduction of blood pressure and tension related pain like headaches, ulcers, and muscle/joint problems.
It’s no accident that the practice of mediation is on the rise. We’re so busy these days. Even when we’re not busy we’re constantly turning to our phones to “check” on things. Sitting quietly for a few moments allows us to stop. It can be like a mini vacation for the mind, body and soul.
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