Remember when meditation was viewed with mild suspicion?
Slightly ‘left of centre’?
And for hippy types from the 60s?
All that has changed.
Research now confirms what wisdom traditions have known all along:
Meditation is good for your brain, body and emotional well-being.
When you meditate:
- you naturally reduce the production of your stress hormones
- you increase the secretion of those that make you feel good.
- regular meditation has a positive effect on blood pressure
- you enhance the slow wave patterns of sleep which means you get a better night’s rest.
So far from being a ‘fad’, giving yourself mindful time is important.
But how do you go from having a ‘mind full’ of thoughts to being ‘mindful’?
The idea is not to try to eliminate thoughts – that is virtually impossible!
With regular practice, you can learn to acknowledge those thoughts without getting caught up in them.
“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment and involves acceptance of these thoughts and feelings without judging them.”
So how do you get started?
With 3-5 minutes of sitting quietly.
Do you find this difficult?
If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps to help you.
One that I particularly like and recommend is called Insight Timer.
It has guided meditations of varying lengths from just 3 minutes.
Perfect for the fidgety sceptics among us!
You don’t need a smartphone, though!
Read these tips, too: How to Be Mindful
It is never too early to start and never too late to begin!
Do you have any tips or stories to share?
Exercise Specialist, Kris Tynan.
Watch out for more great exercise and lifestyle tips from Kris Tynan next month.