Our mind serves a very important duty. It helps us think. And yes — in many situations, thinking is necessary.
But too often, our minds are unconsciously consumed by thought after thought. This inner dialogue is largely made up of worries about our future, our health, our relationships, our work and other concerns. And all this thinking repeatedly happens without us even noticing! Yet, this constant inner narrative is a source of immense stress in our lives.
How can we stay grounded in the present when our minds are so distracted?
We can train the mind.
Meditation Reframes Our Relationship With Our Thoughts
Meditation is a mindfulness practice that connects us to the present by paying attention to our breath. It sounds simple, yet is so powerful. Connecting with your breath helps you focus your attention. By doing this, you train your mind to observe what is happening in the present moment.
While meditating, your goal isn’t to clear your mind of thoughts, or even change them. Thoughts will spring up, as they do. Your goal is simply to observe when they arise. And the more you meditate, the greater awareness you have of the thoughts, feelings and emotions throughout daily life. You’ve trained your mind to become a nonjudgmental observer. As an observer, you become less identified with the narrative running through the mind.
This changes your relationship with your thoughts. So when thoughts arise, you recognize when it happens. And then you can act with intention, instead of reacting unconsciously. You can choose to let go of the thoughts instead of getting caught up in them.
Known Benefits of Meditation
This heightened awareness of the present leads to a calmer, happier, and less anxious state of being. Those who meditate experience a greater appreciation for life and more harmonious relationships. In fact, research is demonstrating that meditation can lead to a host of benefits to your wellbeing.
Below are just a few backed by recent research:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Enhancing self-awareness
- Increased attention span
- Greater compassion
- Improved sleep
- Pain management
Indeed, this ancient practice of focusing on the breath has much to offer.
A Simple Beginner’s Meditation
- Find a quiet space where you can sit or lie down. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Close your eyes and begin to pay…
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By Mila Meldosian; All Rights Reserved @2021