In today’s busy world, meditation and mindfulness techniques are increasing in popularity. We have distractions practically begging to creep into our brains at any minute – whether it be notifications from our phones, constant advertisements, nagging worries, or out-of-the-blue memories. Meditation is proven to be helpful not only for overall well-being, but can also improve immunity, decrease pain, anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, and help us cope with difficult situations in life. The thing about pain and anxiety is this: while our bodies experience these symptoms because of physiological processes, it is often our emotional or mental reaction to the symptoms that make them harder to bear. When we can have a calmer approach, it can reduce our experience of suffering.
By having as little as 10 minutes of intentional quiet time each day, we can help our nervous systems calm down and settle into the parasympathetic state – the part of the nervous system associated with “resting and digesting.” Giving space for the rest and digest function invites that sense of calm into other areas of our lives beyond the time of meditation. Things that used to feel extremely stressful may now feel more manageable.
I totally get that not everyone is ready to jump into the classic eyes closed, cross legged meditation. Here a few of my favourite ways to get my daily retreat in:
- 15 min yoga in the morning while my tea steeps (or coffee brews for the java heads out there)
- Eating without stimulus – no tv, no podcasts just me and my delicious nutritious meal
- Designated silent time for my phone – dinner, while reading, before bed
- Refraining from using my phone when waiting at the bus/bank/coffee shop etc. and letting my mind disconnect and wander
- Laying down for 10 minutes after work – eyes closed or open, legs up the wall if a busy day on my feet, and 10 mins of calm conscious breathing
- Evening walk sans headphones
With all the great benefits of meditation, you may be excited to jump on the bandwagon. Schedule an appointment today to see if meditation would be a good addition your health plan!