Mindfulness, Meditation, and You
Are you distressed by the idea of sitting silent and still for even five minutes with your eyes closed, because you’re afraid you just might explode with impatience? In today’s world, we are exposed to a multitude of sensory stimulators, so it can be incredibly difficult to silence all of our random thoughts. However, when we do achieve this “empty” place mentally, the benefits are endless.
Don’t have time to set up candles, music, and your favorite meditation cushion? Don’t worry! Wherever you are, all you have to do is literally close your eyes and start a simple deep breathing exercise. Even if you can only make it for 30 seconds the first time, that’s OK; try to make it for a whole minute the next time. Keep gently challenging yourself to find that “empty’” place again each day. Even a few minutes at a time can have a dramatic effect on your ability to stay calm. Just make sure you aren’t driving!
Am I Doing This “Right”?
Each one of us has our own set of stockpiled experiences, emotions, and memories based on our pasts. We each have different ways of coping with, processing, and moving past failures, real or perceived. This means that we each have our own unique ways of proceeding when it comes to making more mindful, healthy choices. Calming your mind and tapping into your own perceptive abilities gives you the opportunity to feel out what is right for you. This can happen through meditation, binaural brain training, and other mindfulness practices, such as those outlined in Buddhist traditions. Many of their practices are about mastering the mind, so if you find you want more guidance, reach out to your community and find others who practice Buddhism, Taoism, or other mindful ways of living.
Training IS The Game: Walking Your Dog For Health
Did you know both you and your dog can practice mindfulness together? Many animals have heightened senses that protect them from danger. But experiencing these higher levels of sensory and perception stimulation can create stress for your pet, and they can benefit from a little solitude. What better way to burn off some stress than to take a leisurely stroll together? Developing a trusting relationship with your dog by going on walks together helps you both achieve better peace of mind, and is a great way for each of you to increase the release of endorphins in your brains. Dog walking is already a fun way to spend time with your own pet or a neighbor’s, and creating a mindful activity out of it is twice as rewarding!
Nature, Is That You?
There are several studies about the positive effects of viewing and being immersed in nature. For some — like those who cannot get past the bugs, the moisture, and sleeping on the ground — the idea of even entering the woods is frightening. However, with increasing frequency, green spaces are being created and promoted for just this purpose in urban environments, including this underground park in New York City. Even if you can only get out once a month, you will notice improvement in your mental well-being. Walking along trails or sitting under a tree can be a very healing experience, so grab an extra water bottle and get out there. Your body and your mind will definitely thank you for it!