By Kim Robson
Leading a hectic, fast-paced life isn’t always a choice: too often we’re forced to keep trucking along, no matter how much we may need a break. People are taking fewer and shorter vacations, and working longer and harder, just to keep their heads above water. This stress and lack of sleep easily cancompromise health over time. Taking just ten or fifteen minutes every day to meditate and breathe is a simple yet powerfully effective way to combat stress and improve your life.
Daily meditation is guaranteed to decrease your stress levels. After meditating daily for a couple of months, you may notice not getting very stressed at all anymore. You’ll simply see things differently. What seemed terribly important before no longer seems so. Mood swings and negative, destructive emotions will utterly melt away.
You’ll experience more energy, no longer getting those middle-of-the-day blahs or feeling tired after housework. More energy elevates your mood and makes your body look younger and healthier. Meditation lowers blood pressure, increases your focus and patience, and reduces or eliminates headaches and muscle aches. If you have difficulty sleeping, daily meditation will help. When you meditate, your body learns to completely relax and your mind is quieter. This helps you to fall into a deep sleep much easier.
Regular meditation also will help you understand your oneness and connectedness with the universe. You, I, plants, cars, houses, stars – everything – is made up of energy with different densities. Understanding this will make you a happier, less judgmental person. As well, you are connecting to your own highest wisdom, paving the way for emotional healing. Meditation helps to remove emotional blockages that come from holding on to anger and resentment. It opens us up to our connection with other people, creating pathways to global peace and harmony.
The energy you send out into the world is a reflection of your inner state of being. Your energy touches and affects others. If you’re happy and calm, others will naturally feel that way, too. You might feel more inclined to help someone out in hard times, and to come up with harmonious and creative solutions to global problems.
Meditating is the easiest thing in the world. First, remove yourself from distractions. This will make your mind clearer and more lucid. Find a quiet spot to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. You can sit cross-legged, in a chair, or even lying down. The most important thing is to keep your back straight.
With your eyes partially closed, turn your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, becoming aware of the sensation of your breath as your diaphragm expands and contracts. Focusing on breathing is the sole object of meditation. Concentrate on breathing to the exclusion of everything else.
At first, your mind will be crowded with thoughts. You might become more aware of just how busy your mind actually is. Resist the temptation to follow different thoughts as they arise, and remain focused on the sensation of your breath. If you realize that our mind has wandered, you should immediately return your attention to breathing. Repeat as many times as necessary until your mind settles on your breath.
When your mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally emerges from within. This is why daily meditation helps us to cope with the craziness of daily life. Most of our stress and tension comes from our minds, and ill health is caused or aggravated by stress. Just by doing a ten- or fifteen- minute breathing meditation each day, you will be able to reduce this stress, bringing a feeling of contentment and well-being. A calm, spacious feeling will flood the mind, and many of your usual problems will drop away. Difficult situations will become easier to deal with. You will feel naturally warmer and better disposed toward other people, and your relationship with the world will improve.