When was the last time you sit still and just concentrated on your breathing?
I was introduced to meditation through my yoga classes. We often end the class with a 10 minute meditation, which I enjoy a lot. I wanted to add some kind of spiritual practice into my daily routine but wasn't sure how to do it. That's when the 21 day challenge from Deepak Chopra happened to start and I just jumped right in. I did the meditation every day for 21 days. It was a guided meditation of 15 minutes. And I have to say, it's been a beautiful practice that I have continued to do as I saw the improvement in the quality of my sleep and my general wellbeing. I love meditating just before bed as it's a nice way to end the day and get ready for bed. I light some candles and make it all cozy...just because I like it!:) but you can practice meditation anywhere! A walk in nature is also a good way to bring awareness and tranquility to your mind. Meditating around the same time every day helps to create an habit. It is a learning experience as it can take time until we can let our mind wander and let go of our thoughts as well as learning to sit still in silence.
Some friends started the 21 day challenge with me and were very happy to discover all the benefits. One of them used the daily meditation practice to help her quit smoking! She replaced the "after work cigarette" ritual with a 15 minute meditation and it really helped her in getting her mind off the cigarette. The feeling of calmness and deep relaxation are such rare moments in our busy lives. We stopped taking time for ourselves, we're always surrounded by noise with the TV or music on, we just forgot how to connect with our body and mind, to let go of the day and all the negative energy accumulated. Stress has so many bad effects on our health that finding a quiet moment to let your brain rest is incredibly powerful.
Meditation has wonderful health benefits. Here's a few ones. Have a look!
- It boosts your immune system.
- It is an anti-inflammatory- as the stress brings inflammation, the relax mind can help prevent it.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It increases fertility- you're more likely to make babies when you're in a relaxed environment than a stressful one.
- It relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms like bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
- It can help with insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, migraines.
- It improves your memory and keeps you focused and clear.
- It slows down the aging process.