Meditation and Mindfulness
I’ve decided to expand my blog from one post/week which focuses on things for children (it could be books, authors, tidbits of advice from a School Psychologist, or my own thoughts on Character Ed) to two posts/week. The second post is going to be focused on positive things to improve our lives. I’m going to call it Thoughtful Thursday.
Since children don’t read my blog, adults do, I thought I’d add a little something just for you, my adult friends (not adult content, mind you. LOL)!
I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (although I haven’t practiced in over 20 years–well, maybe a little part time here and there, but basically not in a long time). Anyhoo, I went into that field to help people. I love Psychology and Theories and so I will be drawing from that knowledge plus my ow personal experiences for these posts to help people feel more positive about life, themselves, everything.
To kick off this new post, I want to talk a little bit about Meditation and Mindfulness.
Meditation entered my life probably about 6 years ago. I read my Pastor’s book called Knowing as We Are Known and it changed my life. It is a 29 day Contemplative Meditation book. Each day he shares thoughts and bible verses and then poses questions for the reader to meditate upon.
While I have been a Christian since I was 3 years old (yes I prayed the prayer at 3), I never really felt like I had met God until I did this 29 day meditation. For the first time in my life during prayer, I kept silent. Amazing things happen when you sit quietly for 20-30 minutes. God shows up!
I have been practicing meditation most days since then. Research has shown that sitting quietly for 20-30 minutes/day reduces your blood pressure! That’s pretty cool! Plus, we are so plugged in these days. It feels really good to unplug and relax.
As part of keeping my license, I have to earn 60 CEU’s every 2 years (continuing education units) and so I signed up for a Mindfulness Seminar to learn how to use it in a therapeutic way. It was taught by a man who used to be a Buddhist Monk. I have never come away from a seminar feeling more relaxed and content and happy as I did from this seminar! That’s because he actually had us doing the exercises!
Now, mindfulness is different from meditation. Mindfulness means being aware of the present moment. You might be aware of an activity you’re doing such as walking or driving or you might be aware that you are with people you love (or not) but whatever, you are living in the moment, fully aware.
These two practices have changed my life. I’m much happier, more relaxed, and much more content with my life.
If you haven’t tried either, I would highly encourage you to. Take just a few minutes (you don’t have to start with 20 minutes, it can be just 5 or even 2) and take 3 deep breaths focusing on the feeling of that air coming into your body. Where do you feel it most? In your chest, your throat, or your nose? Try to calm your mind and not think about anything at all. Close your eyes. This helps with distractions.
Now, don’t you feel better? I hope so! If you keep up this practice, you will reap benefits even more than I can describe or know.
Please leave any comments or reactions to this post below. I’d love to hear from you.