Humans naturally have a high level of consciousness; however, it tends to be clouded by our thoughts.
“You are what you think. Your mental projection is the highest projection in existence in the human body. Nothing comes from outside” – Yogi Bhajan
Mastering your “Monkey Mind”
Meditation is mastery of your mind and breathing is its physical counterpart. Mastering anything takes time; even once you’ve mastered it, there are occasions when it will feel harder than others. Our minds process tens of thousands of thoughts per day, most of which are subconscious—even the conscious ones are primarily about the past or future. The weight of those myriads of thoughts and impressions detracts from our clarity, focus, and energy, not to mention our ability to stay present and act on current realities from our core self. With meditation, we can “dump out” the mental clutter and create a calmer space for positive and healthy thoughts that lead to actions corresponding with our highest intentions.
Health Benefits of Regular Meditation
Meditation can directly affect our pituitary gland and help balance brain chemistry, which, in turn, affects our mood, behaviour, and overall health. It can lower respiratory and heart rates, stabilize blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, and change brain wave activity to a more relaxed state. These benefits improve our health by combating stress, anxiety, pain, and inflammation, which can reduce depression, insomnia, substance abuse, addiction, etc. Further meditation can help increase attention span and may even reduce age-related memory loss.
With so much to gain in as little as 5 minutes, it’s boggling that more people aren’t doing it! Through meditation, you learn to take responsibility for your thoughts (so they don’t control you) and practice neurophysiological self-regulation, which can transform whole body health.
How to Get Started? — Watch the Video for additional tips and info
You can meditate anywhere, without specialized equipment, much space or even time. Distracting thoughts can be replaced by an object, thought, sound (calming sound, mantra, etc.), focused breathing, or visualization, like in focused-attention meditation. Alternately, a broadened awareness of your environment; natural thoughts, feelings, or impulses; and sense of self is encouraged in open-monitoring meditation. Clearing or attuning to your thoughts gives way to more stillness, calm, clarity, and quiet over the chaos of your mind.
Rest assured that there’s a type of meditation out there for every person and intent and that it gets easier with practice! Every minute does count.
- Download an App, many are free: Calm, Headspace, 10% Happier, Insight Timer, the Mindfulness App, Bellabeat, etc.
- Online guided meditations, many are free: Head in the Clouds, Mala Collective (free meditation of the month), YouTube, etc.
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center