We hear a lot about why we should take up meditation, especially now when we are facing so much more uncertainty and stress. But if you haven’t tried meditation before, or it all sounds too difficult, then you may need a little more inspiration to make it part of your everyday routine.
Every day, we are bombarded with so much information- from people we meet, emails, phone calls, advertising, social media, tv and billboards popping up in more and more places.
And then there is the constant chatter of our own minds.
It is estimated that we have about 60 000 thoughts per day. And 95 % of them are thoughts we had the day before!
There is no rest from all this visual and mental stimulation………
Unless we choose to take rest from it.
Meditation for a Mental Break
That is where meditation comes in. Meditation allows us to take a mental break, to stop, (even just for 10 minutes) and bring our awareness within. It allows us to slow down, focus on our breath or a simple mantra, help slow the thoughts and gain some clarity. If we are constantly on the go, busy-busy, thinking, doing….. we may become exhausted, or irritable or cranky or not sleep well.
As a naturopath, I have many resources I use for my health and well-being, but meditation has by far, been the one tool that has had the biggest impact on my life.
I love thinking. I love dreaming and scheming and reminiscing. But I didn’t realise how much this exhausted me as my mind would tell the same stories, repeating scenarios and anticipated conversations. Learning meditation, for me, gave me a simple mental break from all this noise. And I learned to appreciate quiet and stillness. I still think, and I still dream, but it is more mindful now and I make sure that my thoughts are productive and useful. I aim to not have the same thoughts 95% of the time, but rather, rest in the quiet for 20 minutes, once or twice a day.
Benefits of Daily Meditation
And what have I noticed since making meditation a part of my every day?
More time and presence for conversations I have, and people that I love.
Meditation helps a Better Version of ‘me’.
My 12yr old daughter now will often ask if I’ve meditated in the afternoon – as she knows she gets a better version of me, once I have meditated. She gets all of my attention then, not a scattered, exhausted mum.
By learning to periodically stop, I find I notice finer details in life. Moments of connection, moments of joy that I can stop and enjoy and moments of peace to just be, to observe and wonder. Meditation allows us to process stresses and emotional unrest so we don’t keep accumulating these.
Meditation helps Less Coffee, Less Sugar
I find myself less reliant on stimulants such as coffee and sugar. By taking just a short time out each afternoon, meditation helps to recharge my energy for the rest of the day. Most people think meditation is best at night, but a simple meditation practice can actually recharge you for up to 4-6 hours! Much better for you than a caffeine addiction 😉
Better Sleep after Regularly Meditating
This has been a huge shift for me. By allowing my mind to rest, twice a day, I can clear and process thoughts and stresses from the day. Just like we periodically back up our computer and phone, to create more space and memory and make it work more efficiently. The same with our minds.
If we make a habit, or a ritual, of stopping each day, we can back up our memory, which leaves more operating space and clarity. Doing this for just a short time each day, means you don’t have to process it all during sleep, and your body has more time to repair and renew. If you find you are waking in the night with a busy, racing mind, then meditation may help (you may also need some liver support as a restless mind can often be sign of an over-loaded liver).
How to Start Meditating
If you have contemplated learning meditation, and not known where to start, come and chat to Christine. She can talk you throughsome simple steps to get you started.
Why not book in a massage and reflexology and she can chat to you about it while your stress and unease is being unraveled and relaxed. Christine is available for appointments with us on Fridays (and Sundays on request).
Christine is also a facilitator with a local Northern Beaches not-for-profit organisation, Making Meditation Mainstream which holds free weekly beach meditations in many locations (including Dee Why and Narrabeen).
She will also be running 5 -week Meditation for Women courses in October. Send us a message to request more details.
As we step into Spring, it’s a great time to embrace a new health ritual such as meditation.