Meditation and Mental Health

We have been examining meditation this month and its connection to maintaining good mental health.

In her book, The Power of Attention”, Sarah McLean states, “Meditation is a word that refers to many tchniques and practices, both modern and ancient.  All of them settle your nervous system, reduce stress, and train your brain to be more focused, more engaged, and less reactive.”

Certainly managing stress, being focused and intentional will help us all develop healthy mental attitudes and experinece positive emotions.  Mediation is a practice, a discipline to achieve this.  However, many ask, “Ok, but How do I do it?”

First chose a time and comfortable place.  Sit with a straight back, feet on the floor and eyes closed.  Now just pay attention to your breathing, and as thoughts pop into your head, just recognize them without judging them or engaging them for further examination.  Keep bringing you attention back to your breathing.

SEEK boardmember, Deborah Goldstien in her latest post for Driven offers the following suggestions:

” When you pause and take time to connect with your breath, and just breathe, you’re doing it right…

The Breath Connect

Set your timer for 1 minute. Take in a deep, slow breath. Feel the air being lifted into your nostrils. Is the air cold? Does it tickle? Feel the air filling your lungs. Now exhale. Feel your chest deflate, notice how the release is effortless. Once your breath is gone, focus on the next slow, deep in-breath. Do this about 9 more times. As the timer goes off ask yourself how that feels. When I do this with my clients, they’re surprised that one minute of focused breathing can be so relaxing, delightful, and “nice”. Voila. You’re meditating!

The Listen

Breathing and simply listening to the world around you helps you slow down and connect to the present. It’s a powerful way to quiet your thinking mind and connect with the natural openness of awareness. Even in a noisy environment, you can listen to the space between the noise (not just figuratively) and center yourself. If you have the good fortune of being someplace that is quiet, extend your listening to the greatest corners of your consciousness.

Building any new intentional practice or protocol takes time and patience. But developing a meditation practice can literally be accomplished in 5 minutes a day. Stretch it to 10 minutes daily, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a greater attention span and a healthier body and mind

 

Thanks, Deborah.  Let’s try it.  Start small, slowly and gradually increase the time you allow yourself to relax into the present moment, so that you will be more able to handle all the future moments that are awaiting you each day!

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