I attended a Meditation and Mindfulness lecture series (4 classes over 4 weeks) and came away with a new view on this topic. I honestly didn’t think meditation was for me until taking this series and realizing that I do it already (talk about an embarrassing realization!). I always thought meditation was this esoteric, spiritual or other-worldly, elevated conciousness achieved through a type of directed thought but I never really looked into it. The definition provided in this lecture was simple. Meditation is just a few minutes of uninterrupted silence each day. It has 3 parts: breathing, relaxation, and detachment. If a thought comes into your mind, just let it pass through instead of keeping it or ruminating.
Turns out that using the definition given in this series, that I already meditate through/during practicing yoga and definitely feel some of the benefits which have been shown to include:
- Lowers blood pressure – Decreases stress hormones
- Reduces Anxiety – Increases beneficial hormones
- Alleviates Depression – Enhances immune system
- Diminishes sleep problems
It is really weird to discover that you like something that you thought you hated.
A few other great takeaways from the series for me were the following quote:
It’s not the situation, circumstance or person that causes you stress. It’s how you THINK about it that causes stress.
Also, she recommended a few resources:
- Honest Guys Meditation App – If you are offended easily, this may not be the right app for you. This guy provides guided meditations that are funny, don’t mince words, and help with everyday life.
- 10% Happier App and there is also a book by the same name
- Live Happy
There are lots of guided meditations available for free on youtube so if your interest is peaked, maybe give it a try. Just start with 1 minute uninterrupted silence. It’s harder than it sounds but I have found that it does make a difference.