When you think of mediation, what’s the first impression that comes to your mind? New age freaks? Hippies? Faux-trendy yoga yuppies?
There are many misconceptions of meditation and it’s not just for those stated above. It’s for everyone. It’s for you. The benefits are really incredible and it’s becoming a more accepted practice by those unlikely; business professionals, school children, athletes, and that average dude you know, Joe Schmo.
Dan Harris makes a compelling argument for why you should meditate in his video “Hack Your Brain’s Default Mode with Meditation,” “The science is really compelling. It can boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, help you deal with problems ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to cirrhosis….it can literally grow the gray matter in key areas of your brain having to do with self-awareness and compassion and shrink the gray matter in the area associated with stress.”
Video Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAcTIrA2Qhk
The benefits are immense and go beyond this idea that it’s just some strange, spiritual routine. As research and data continues to grow, the practice of meditation is becoming a more culturally and socially accepted habit. This is why we see the practice of mediation being implemented into organizations that we always believed unlikely. Have you heard of the elementary school in West Baltimore that no longer hosts detention, but mediation for students? They want to start addressing behavioral issues with a more emotional, holistic approach. The results? There was a decrease in behavioral problems in the classroom and increased attendance, leading to zero suspensions last year.
Meditation is not the complicated, time-consuming activity that you may think it is; nor does it serve just one purpose. How and why you meditate is entirely up to you. You may meditate for 30 seconds of your day sitting in your office chair, listening to music, or practice by lying on your couch for an hour. You’ll find that there are infinite purposes for meditation, so don’t be stifled by some lousy definition. You can meditate to reduce a little stress and anxiety, become more patient, improve decision making, to be spiritually and universally balanced, or for no direct purpose at all!
The most beautiful part of meditation is that it can be practiced anytime, anywhere, so there’s no excuse for you to not be practicing yourself. When you’re done reading this, I challenge you to sit with your eyes closed for a brief 30 seconds and practice a little mediation. If you need some assistance, hop onto Youtube and search “guided mediation.” If you find your mind to be racing and distracted while meditating, that’s ok! Don’t feel pressured that you have to “think about nothing” or be totally quiet in your mind. Start by focusing on your breathing. Just be present and in the moment.
There are a million and one trends to improve your physical body, now let’s start improving our minds and our souls with it. Your mind is precious, so treat it well. #meditationbrain