In a recent post, I shared one of my favorite new tools with you – an audio program that has made it possible for me to meditate – daily – for a month and a half now. I’ve gotten some questions about how it’s going and why I want to do this (that includes you, Mom), so I thought I’d share.
First – it continues to go really well. I look forward to the time I am spending every morning (about 40 minutes, but it doesn’t have to be that long) in what’s called mindful meditation. Mindful meditation means (my definition) getting quiet and still and observing my thoughts and my feelings–noticing what I’m noticing – without judgment. It’s taking the time and space to connect and listen to me. That’s it. And so far, I’m finding it really helpful. As I shared earlier, I feel more grounded and patient and focused. I think I’m reacting less and being more purposeful. I definitely feel more creative and effective in my relationships and in my work. Plus, it’s leaving me feeling happy and energized. You don’t need to use a special program or listen to an audio to meditate, all you need to do is sit quietly and focus your attention on your breathing and on the present moment. Observe your mind, and when your attention wanders, bring it back. Stay nonjudgmental and keep refocusing on the moment and your breath.
Mindfulness meditation is really a power tool. Here are some of the ways that research has shown mindfulness meditation to be beneficial:
- Lowered feelings of stress and levels of stress hormones and an improved ability to recover from stress
- Better working memory
- Enhanced ability to control how we process emotions and pain
- Increased self-awareness
- Lowered tendencies to be judgmental
- Improved ability to listen
- Improved sleep
- Meditators have been shown to have fewer and shorter colds and lower medical bills
- and it’s a recommended strategy if you are trying to lose weight or make lasting habit changes.
Pretty good stuff, right? If you’ve developed a mindfulness habit, I’d love to hear how it’s going and what has helped you stick with it. I’ll keep you posted as mine unfolds.