What is meditation?
Meditation is often very misunderstood. It’s not about changing who you are or making you a different person. Meditation is a very effective tool to help you understand and manage your thoughts and feelings.
What is mindfulness?
Some people find the word Mindfulness so touchy feely that they are turned off to the word,Mindfulness. It really is simply the state of being present. It is being able to focus and even enjoy what is actually going on around you and not be so distracted by EVERYTHING in our lives.
Meditation is like any other skill.
Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. It’s like deciding to play Tennis or Golf, this is a skill that will take some time to get good at. It will take time and practice to reach the level you are seeking. Meditation is just like that, a skill that takes time to achieve what you desire. Think of it like exercising a muscle that you’ve never really worked out before. It takes consistent practice to get comfortable. And it’s usually easier if you have a teacher. We’ve got you covered there.
Do I need a teacher?
Like other skills, a teacher or instructor can often help you especially if you are just getting started. Thankfully, today, YouTube offers many options.
It’s practice, not necessarily perfect.
Meditation is one of the few things you can do to support your health that does not require perfection. You will find that some days your awesome at it, and some days it is a struggle and you find it difficult to focus. The beauty of mediation is no matter how you meditate it’s OK.. Just practicing on a regular basis will provide benefits and over time you will find those days that it feels like you did it wrong will be few and far between.
Some Benefits of Meditation
- Improvement of general health
- Improved mental health
- Improved spiritual health
- Improvement in concentration
- Improved longevity
- Decrease in stress
- Improvement in creativity
- Deeper levels of relaxation
- Slower heart rate
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces anxiety
- Decreases muscle tension
- Decrease in pain
- Improves self confidence and self esteem
- Increases serotonin production (low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity, insomnia, and headaches)
- Aids in chronic disease such as allergies and arthritis
- Reduces PMS
- Enhances immune system
- Greater orderliness of brain functioning
- Improved focus, perception and memory
- Reverse the aging process
- Increase in self actualization
- Increase in productivity
A Simple Breathing Meditation
Step 1 Location: The first step of meditation is to create an environment in which to be successful. A place free of distractions. No cell phones, screaming kids, televisions blaring or anything else that might pull your mind away. Our goal is to make our mind more clear and lucid, to reduce the clutter in the active mind (Beta waves) and build a quieter more lucid creative state (Theta waves). We can accomplish this goal with a simple breathing meditation.
Step 2 Posture: Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. You don’t have to be in a stereotypical cross-legged posture but any position that is comfortable is acceptable. Sitting comfortably in a chair is fine as long as you keep your back straight and your body relaxed. Try to align your ears, shoulders and hips. Sit tall and reach the top of your head towards the ceiling. Look across the room to the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Close your eyes and relax. As you become more advanced I would like you to close your eyes half-way with out really looking at anything. At first you may find this too distracting.
Step 3 Attention and Breathing: Turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe as naturally as possible. Breathe through the nostrils, without attempting to control your breathing. As you breathe in, use your diaphragm and fully oxygenate your lungs. Focus your attention on your breathing. Turn your awareness to the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the lungs. Keep your focus on the feeling and sensations of the air as it passes through your lungs. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.
Step 4 Keeping Your Focus: At first, you will find that your mind is cluttered with the stress in your life. You will find your focus moving from your breathing to random thoughts of things that you need to do, stresses of the day, work, family and life in general. As quickly as you get distracted move your focus back to your breathing. You may be surprised at how busy our mind actually is. This is normal. Understand this is how cluttered your mind typically is through out your waking hours. Continue the process of refocusing on your breathing as many times as necessary until the mind stays focused on your breathing.
Step 5 Persistence: Practice persistence and gradually your distracting thoughts will begin to melt away. This is your mind settling down and moving from the more active brain waves of Beta waves, to a more healthy state of Theta. You will begin to experience states of inner peace and relaxation. You will discover your mind feeling more lucid and spacious and you will experience a state of renewal much like you feel after a nice afternoon nap. I want you to stay in this state for 20 minutes.
Step 6 Habit: I want you to practice this simple meditation for twenty minutes per day for the next 21 days straight. It takes 21 days to develop a lasting lifestyle habit. After 21 days you will have developed new lifestyle habits that I have found to be more beneficial to your health than eating right or exercising. The object is not to substitute meditation for another healthy habit but to add to your lifestyle and build the momentum of wellness.
As simple as this is, it can be quite powerful. We can see from this practice that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind. We can detach our mind from the everyday stress and emotions. When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. This feeling of contentment and well being helps us to cope with the busyness and difficulties of daily life. So much of the stress and tension we normally experience comes from our mind, and many of the problems we experience, including ill health, are caused or aggravated by this stress. Just by doing breathing meditation for ten or twenty minutes each day, we will be able to reduce this stress. We will experience a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, and many of our usually problems will fall away. Difficult situation will become easier to deal with, we will naturally feel warm and well disposed towards other people, and our relationships with others will gradually improve.
A Healthy Lifestyle
The team at Crossroads Chiropractic is committed to providing you with the tools for you and your family to live your best life. Meditation is one of the many tools we encourage you to use.
To find out more about how we can help you reach your health goals, call us to find out how we can help.