I have read a ton of articles over the past year from various sources touting the amazing benefits of meditation. OK so it’s supposed to be good for you and there are some studies which support its benefits to both body and mind. But what exactly is meditation? It seems there are several forms. How exactly is it good for me? And who has time to sit and do nothing? In our rushed and stressed out society it could seem counter intuitive to many. Maybe even a waste of time! This is to those of us that do have a hard time sitting still and turning off our mind. It is very hard for me. However because I keep reading about the abundant benefits I do believe that it is in my best interest to slow down and take a look at what it is all about and try to incorporate it into my life in 2015. New year’s resolution? Perhaps yes – can’t hurt me to at least try it right?
Meditation is good for your mind; it changes your brain’s structure!
A study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) shows measurable changes in participants’ grey matter. The regions demonstrating change are associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. Grey matter density had actually increased. I think I would love to be able to feel less stress just through building up some grey matter – and all I have to do is sit quietly! Does it still sound like a waste of time endeavor? Not so much. I would rather not rely on prescription drugs to cope with daily overwhelm.
How do we get started?
- Sit comfortably either cross-legged on the floor. If that is uncomfortable, sit in a chair.
- Sit up straight and close your eyes.
- To maintain your neutral tall spine by inhaling and rolling your shoulders up to your ears. As you exhale roll your shoulders back and down. Repeat this if you feel yourself starting to slouch.
- Breath simply through your nose; just breathing in and out. Focus on the space between your nostrils and your lips. Observe the sensation as your breath flows over this spot.
- As your mind wonders bring it back to this space. Be easy on yourself throughout the process. Some days it will seem easier than others.
- Observe any thoughts that come and go but don’t really judge them. Just focus back on your breath.
- Start with sessions of 5 minutes. If you feel like going longer, go with it.
- Likewise if you’re not feeling it one day listen to your intuition. If you feel the need to move slightly, you can!
- See this article for further information
- Go easy on yourself; it is amazingly difficult to train your mind like this. Especially when you’ve had a rough day!
- Do what feels good!
To your health