By Sunny Simon
I don’t meditate in the traditional sense of the word. Despite repeated efforts, I have never succeeded in establishing inner peace by sitting with my eyes closed and focusing on my breathing. Meditation is a vehicle to calm the mind and ease mental discomfort. Most individuals, who don’t practice Buddhist meditation, probably have an alternative method of tuning out the noise and distraction then tuning in to find that illusive state of nirvana.
My preferred method takes place in the solace of my kitchen. Armed with my chef’s knife I dial down the churning thoughts bouncing around in my brain and ease my stress by engaging in rhythmic chopping as I prep for dinner. My friend Barb picks up a pair of knitting needles. By alternating between knit and purl stitches she moves into a state of de-concentration. Others pray, hike, run, swim or engage in any activity that allows the mind to rest.
Perhaps you have a different method of calming your brainpower, but aren’t aware of it. Try mentally scanning your activities at the end of the day. Was there a time when you just got quiet and let go? If not, for the sake of your mental clarity, do some diligent discovery.
Spend time in meditation and reap multiple rewards. We can easily count the health and spiritual benefits, but research points to other more obscure ways that meditating 20 minutes a day yielded positive results.
Ever get in trouble by being impulsive? Color me guilty. Scientists report in addition to lessening the worry load and anxiety, your impulsivity will decrease. As far as your emotional well-being is concerned, a dedicated practice of silencing your thoughts leads to enhanced self-esteem and mood elevation. Another key benefit is resilience against pain and adversity.
Been accused of attention deficient disorder? You can help curb that syndrome by adding meditation to your daily routine. Improvement in creative thinking, cognitive skills and memory are also linked to this practice.
Don’t wait for a dose of anxiety to strike. Get proactive before an overwhelming situation has you bouncing from pillar to post. Figure out when and how your body best reacts to mental downtime and make it a priority. Whether it’s in your kitchen, seated quietly on your bus ride to work, or on the running path, block out the rest of the world and start experiencing the positive results gained from this simple exercise. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching and the author of the blog www.lifeonthesunnyside.net