Meditation: Not just for Hippies Anymore

meditate

What if I told you that you can get quicker reflexes, more creative thinking and less stress in 8 weeks?  You would be like, “Hey whoa, who dropped me off in the middle of this infomercial?”  And then we would laugh and eat cake with the Slap Chop guy.  Oh but wait, back to the less stress thing.  It’s true.  There really is a way to change your brain so that it deals with stress more effectively.  This top-secret brain changing method?  Meditation.  I know when I say meditation you’re thinking about someone in a robe who smells like patchouli but we’re talking 21st century meditation here, folks.

I always thought meditation was a total load and wrote it off as people sitting around doing nothing.  Then I started researching it for the blog.  According to The Buddhist Centre, meditation is “a means of transforming the mind. [Meditation] practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things.”

So, what’s in it for you?  Science has proven that meditating is associated with increased focus, lessened anxiety and expansion of the brain’s ability to learn.  If you do it every day, your brain will literally rewire itself and you will start to notice changes in your mood and outlook.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice?  There are many different kinds of meditation you can try.  The style that I find the easiest is guided meditation.  The Stop, Breathe, Think app I mentioned in my last post uses the guided meditation style.  The technique in the app is called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction where you start by checking in with yourself and focusing your attention on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath.  The app then guides you through a meditation based on how you’re feeling at the time.  The good thing is, all you need is a phone and a chair or a cushion to get started.  You can download the app here.

Meditation is easilty applied to everyday life.  The goal is being more mindful in general.  When you interact with others, when you eat, when you drive (which is not easy considering all the other nutjobs on the road).  If you can take the kindness and compassion that you learn in your practice and use it to live your everyday life, you will reap the benefits infinitely.

Do you practice meditation?  How has it helped you?