The Importance of Meditation
By: Jenn Moss
When you think of meditation, what do you think of it? You may imagine someone sitting crossed legged with a straight back, with their hands on their knees, in silence, and concentrating intently. This is just one of the many ways that meditation can be done. Others include mindful walking, meditation lying down in Shavasana, guided meditation, and more.
One thing is for certain, meditation is not just for monks on a mountain top. Meditation can be done almost anywhere. Incorporating meditation into your daily life, even if just for 5 minutes a day can have great benefits. It is better to practice every day for a short amount of time than only once or twice a month for a long time.
What Exactly is Meditation?
Meditation is such a personal practice, that it is hard to encompass it with just one single definition, as people meditate in a variety of ways. That being said, it can be described loosely as someone using a technique such as mindfulness, focused breathing, focused activity, and bringing the awareness inwards in the hopes of calming the mind and achieving mental clarity. Although this is not always the case.
Some of the benefits include:
Centering the Mind
So often with our busy schedules, it can feel like we are always moving from one thing to the next and having to adapt our minds quickly to catch up with the new task. This, coupled with the various stressors life throws our way, it can be easy to feel like our minds are array. By taking the time to practice your unique style of meditation, you may begin bringing the mind back to the present and focus on the task at hand.
Showing Up Fully
This leads me to the next benefit that meditation may provoke. Since practicing meditation brings our minds to the present, it allows us to better focus our minds, without thinking about the many distractions (although it is okay if distractions do show up during meditation — simply thank them for coming and send them on their way). Training our minds to be present at the moment, may translate well into our social and emotional lives. You are better able to show up for your friends and family, may become a better listener, and it may help you become more productive for yourself.
Reduced Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
There have been many studies that have shown great results regarding meditating daily and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression. Coming back to your breath, and focusing your mind on the here and now can help improve emotional stability and positive thinking. It is something you can come to when you feel an anxiety attack creeping in or something you can refer back to when you are feeling low.
Whatever your reason for implementing meditation, know that this practice is not always perfect. There will be days when your mind is unable to be at ease or times when your meditation practice does not look like how it “should” be, and that is perfectly okay.