If you have spent any time around here, you may have guessed that I am an advocate for meditation. And, I will tell you why – because it has been proven to WORK. That’s what this post is all about. It is yet another attempt to get you to START PRACTICING MEDITATION!
(Was that direct or what?)
You spend an hour every night lying in bed with racing thoughts, not able to shut down and go to sleep. You realize you just missed the last thing your spouse/child/boss said you because your brain was somewhere else. You are constantly looking for car keys, bills, and shoes. You just feel scattered and “mindless”.
Daily stressors and the rushed, frenetic pace of life today can turn even the most stable well-adjusted among us into flustered scatterbrains. So, what can we do about it? How can we reclaim our calm? The answer appears to be a concept called mindfulness. The best way to accomplish mindfulness? Meditation.
Research has long shown the beneficial impact meditation can have on physical and mental health. A study done just last winter showed that people who regularly practice meditation are able to switch off areas of the brain linked to daydreaming, anxiety, and some other psychiatric disorders. Meditation appears to help meditators stay out of the “default mode network”, which is linked to largely self-centered thinking and tune into the present moment.
Another study recently looked at the effect work-place based yoga and meditation interventions might have on employee health. The results were positive. It appears that even when used in small doses incorporated into the workday these practices yield results. It doesn’t take sitting on a mountain top in lotus position for hours at a time.
Need more proof that meditation is good for you? Check out this post for more research findings.
Build mindfulness into your daily life. There are lots of ways to do this. You can start by adding in Mindful Moments. You can also develop a more formal meditation practice – I know it sounds scary, but it is painless. Here are some additional resources to help you get started.
Five Steps to Mindfulness: Great Resource with exercises to gently guide you through the process
Guided Meditation for Stress Relief: Follow along with this guided meditation and relax your body and mind.
Check out this cute video and see if you can identify with Dante.
If you want a bit more guidance, here are a couple of my favorite books.