Today we are talking meditation. I wanted to take this opportunity to simplify what meditation is and how, despite the popular imagery, it is not limited to being seated in lotus position chanting OM (though if that works for you—keep at it!)
What It Is
Meditation is one of the most impactful things you can do for your overall health and wellness. It doesn’t cost anything more than your willingness to try. At its core, meditation is just breathing and quieting the mind, and yet it is so much more than that because the act of inhaling and exhaling provides our brains, nervous systems, organs and cells an opportunity to relax, replenish and repair.
After being bombarded with noise, ideas and lists of what to do and not do all day on social media, in our jobs and from our family and friends, meditation—or quiet time—is simply a time to listen. To listen to ourselves. To listen to our bodies and our minds. And through that listening, be reminded that everything we need to know, we already do know. We need only to give ourselves the chance to hear it.
How To Do It
Although having a quiet space where you feel comfortable can be a great way to meditate, it is by no means a requirement, and in fact for many people has the opposite effect and can create increased anxiety or restlessness. If that is the case with you, honour that and consider trying another way. Meditation is basically about achieving a state where your mind is as focused and quiet as possible, and this can be accomplished by being active as well as being still. Here are a few suggestions for meditating outside the conventional box:
- Walking in nature
- Walking in your favourite neighbourhood, enjoying the sights and smells and sounds
- Focused playing with your children
- Listening to your favourite music
- Gardening or working with plants/earth
- Drawing or painting (even if you think you’re not good at it!)
- Writing creatively or journaling
Meditation is ultimately a practice that can executed however you want it to be. If you have tried meditation and found it didn’t work for you or have avoided it up until now, I encourage you to explore the possibilities and give meditation a second chance.
Some of the immediate benefits that can result from a consistent meditation practice include:
- Reduced anxiety, worry and depression
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-acceptance
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved focus and memory
Hay House Meditations is a free podcast that can be accessed online or via the iTunes Podcasts App that allows you to explore different guided meditations with a variety of themes and perspectives.
Here is a link to a walking meditation provided by Hay House that you can listen to while out in nature or in the city, wherever you are drawn to:
Please feel free to talk to your practitioner at BNHC about how meditation can help you in your health goals.
Sharon Kelly, ND., & The Team at BNHC