If you asked me two years ago what I thought about meditation, I would have responded, “Yeah…a bunch of weird people sitting in a circle saying ‘ohhhmmm’. No thanks.” My answer today would be a lot different. It is funny how many things in our lives we dismiss as weird before we even understand them. Meditation entered my life over a year ago now. I was reading and learning about how to improve my focus and everyone was recommending meditation. So I started to read about it. There are tons of benefits to meditation, many of them focused around fitness…fitness of the mind and fitness of the body.
Fitness Of The Mind
Meditation has been proven to:
- improve focus
- reduce stress
- control anxiety
- generate kindness
- improve gratefulness
- reduce age related memory loss
- fight addictions
Fitness of the mind is incredibly important to your overall health. There is a link between mental health and physical health. Meditation can vastly change the way you think and the way you feel. If you can improve your focus and reduce your stress, your productivity will soar. Let’s not forget about how gratitude and kindness leads to a happier, healthier life. With all of these benefits for the mind, this is more than enough reasons to give it a shot. But there is also the fitness it provides for the body.
Fitness Of The Body
Meditation has been proven to:
- reduce or eliminate headaches
- help with weight loss
- increase lung capacity
- improve blood circulation and lower heart rate
- increase immunity
- enhance sleep
It is easy to see how these health benefits are something that we all want. The physical things you see here can began with fitness of the mind. With less stress and anxiety, our bodies are under less stress, thus improving our overall health. When it comes to helping with weight loss, meditation can help you stay focused and committed to your diet, giving you the motivation to fight through the times where you are weak. With the enhanced sleep, our bodies are more rested, which allows our tolerance levels to reset and help us have a better day. Now, how should you get started?
How To Get Started
Meditation does not need to take hours a day. As a matter of fact, I have experienced benefits from meditation with as little as 10 minutes a day, which is what I do Monday – Friday (the 5and2Guy way). There are all kinds of meditation that you can perform, but the easiest and simplest is to just sit down, with your legs crossed and try your hardest to focus on your breathing. When you breathe in, pay attention to how the air passes into your nostrils or how your chest/abdomen expands. When you exhale, pay close attention to how the air passes from your mouth or how your chest/abdomen contracts. That’s all there is to it. Seems pretty easy, but not really!!!
Not So Easy!!!
This seems like a pretty simple thing to do, but the problem comes in with our wandering minds. Generally, we have a very difficult time focusing on one thing without our mind wandering off to something else like a bill we need to pay, a lunch we have scheduled, or the fun we had last night. This is the challenge. Expect that your mind will wander. When it does, just acknowledge that it wandered and bring it back to your breathing. You will probably do this a million times during the 10 minutes and think, “This isn’t working for me. I’m just not good at this.” But don’t feel that way. That loss of concentration and bringing it back is what the practice is all about. Going back and forth between your focus is like a repetition when lifting weights. You will get stronger each time it happens. Just keep at it and don’t lose faith.
Though I use to think meditation was for weirdos, I have grown quite attached to the practice. It has helped me improve my productivity, my focus, and my patience. I am sure all the other benefits are happening too. I just don’t notice it. It is true that the majority of people do not meditate and it can come off as being weird. Like I have said many times…it is a compliment to be called weird. Weird is the opposite of what most people do, so I think that is the right direction to be going in. If you do what the majority is doing, you will get what the majority has. Be brave, be courageous, be weird. This meditation thing will pay off!!!