The beauty of meditation is that it helps you unlock your potential to feel present, grounded, and compassionate from within rather than being dependent on outside stimuli. Meditation also enables you to gain more control over where you put your attention, instead of reacting to the moment.
While the term “mindfulness” has become somewhat trendy, meditating is an ancient ritual dating back five thousand years. Ancient people used meditation as a form of spiritual practice that enabled them to connect to their divine energy. In today’s world where things move at the speed of light, connecting to your own energy can be as simple as sitting still in a quiet place for five minutes and focusing on your breath. In fact, numerous research studies have shown that a regular meditation practice will lead to a positive impact on the body.
Based on my work with clients, the benefits of meditation include the following:
• A greater sense of self-awareness and awareness of the environment around you
• A calmer, more grounded presence
• Improved ability to regulate emotions, navigate difficult situations, & manage conflict
• Gains in creativity and innovative thinking
• Deeper active listening skills (being more present and patient)
• More compassion toward others and less critical of oneself
• Improved concentration and clarity of focus
• Enhanced perspective (the ability to see different sides and points of view)
• Stronger, richer, and more fulfilling relationships
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How to Quiet Your Mind in the Midst of Chaos
Following is a simple, four-step meditation practice that I recommend to my clients and personally follow.
If a person could observe the stream of his thought for only one day he would see that there is almost no distinction between himself and a madman. It is just that the madman actually acts upon his thoughts, but the thoughts themselves are indistinguishable.
—Rabbi Shapira (1932, Warsaw Ghetto)
Quiet Sitting Meditation
If the idea of a more formal meditation feels too daunting or overwhelming, why not simply sit and reflect? One client shared with me that this is her favorite time of day and calls it “The Couch Meditation”.
Mindfulness is practical. Being present in every single moment with full understanding and calm acceptance is a contented, happy way to live. It makes sense. It’s entirely rational. It’s not magic.
Think of walking as meditation in movement. Taking a walk helps improve mood and calm an overactive, busy mind.
No matter who you are, you can’t sit still all the time. And some people just find it virtually impossible to stay seated and mindful with the levels of pain and agitation and anger they feel. But they can walk with it.