In this digital day and age, we are constantly bombarded with information, and social interaction online and offline, it’s no wonder we feel overwhelmed. Even if we are a good, cup half-full kind of busy, we can still feel overwhelmed. So what can we do — do we say no to things in attempt to have some peace and quiet from the busyness that is life? Or do we try to say yes to everything and try to deal with anything that comes to us? If you are like me and feel stagnant and bored without activity but exhausted by too much activity, then both do not sound like appealing options.
Instead I have a solution — mediation. Meditation, quite simply is a practice of mindfulness — being aware and present in the moment. It allows you a space and time to unwind from busy, hectic daily life. Meditation need not be a spiritual or religious practice if you do not want it to be, or it equally, it can be part of religious practices.
One of the simplest meditations is breathing meditation where you sit and are still, focusing on your body and breath, observing your thoughts without judgement or trying to control them. Sit for a few minutes like this — 20 minutes twice a day ideally, but even as short as 7 minutes is okay. There are many other types of meditation including guided visualisations and body scans, but I find breathing meditation to be effective and the simplest. But everyone is different, so find one that works for you. There is no right or wrong way of meditating and there is no way you should feel because meditation is different for everyone.
Taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate and practice mindfulness, allows you to disassociate from your repetitive, autopilot day-to-day thoughts and feel a deep sense of peace and acceptance of the presence. There is more and more research these days showing the real, scientific benefits and effects of meditation on the brain and vast amounts of information on meditation from a biological basis if you are interested, or otherwise unconvinced.
After some time of practicing mindfulness, you will notice it transcending into other areas of your life. You will become more aware, more present in the moments of your day. It will allow you to truly appreciate the present moment, without being consumed by the gone past or the yet to come future. And you will be able to be present here, now.
Meditation is the time you allow your mind to rest and recuperate, bringing you to a place of groundedness and inner peace. Paradoxically, learning to do nothing and just be as with meditation, allows one to live a busy, full life of productivity and effectiveness. Meditation is both exercise and remedy for the mind. It feels like an escape from daily life but actually teaches us that there is no need to escape.
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