Life seems to get faster every day. We are all racing from one errand to another, trying to scratch another task off that ever growing to-do list. Thoughts are constantly flowing through our minds. Eventually, this pace can make us tired and snappy, perhaps even depressed. Meditation can be the perfect antidote to create some inner balance and peace in your life.
Meditation has been credited with increasing blood flow, reducing anxiety, decreasing muscle tension, and improving the immune system. One thing is for sure. After you have meditated for 5 to 20 minutes, you are calmer, more relaxed and ready to focus on the next task on your list.
A Kinder Gentler You
Buddhists teach a form of meditation called Loving-Kindness. The purpose of this meditation is to focus your mind on sending kind thoughts to loved ones and even people who are giving you trouble. Research shows as you practice Loving-Kindness, your own attitude can shift. You can train your brain to see things in a more positive light. It can help heal your troubled mind and bring greater happiness into your life.
At your next meal, turn off the TV, put away the newspaper and tune into your food. Be mindful and aware of each bite. Slow down, chew and taste the food. Is it salty? Is it sweet? Are you really hungry or are you just eating because you are bored? When you are present and focused, you will find that you don’t need to eat as much to be satisfied and your digestive system will thank you that you are actually chewing the food and not inhaling it.
According to Zindel Segal, Chair in Psychotherapy in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, patients who suffer from depression who practice meditation are less likely to relapse into another depression. The meditation helps the patients learn tools to deal with their stress and other triggers that often set off the depression.
Improve your test scores?
Early results from a study done by the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA on young school age children shows that teaching children meditation and mindful techniques can improve their ability to think through problems and problem solve. More research is needed, but the initial findings are very promising.