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Do You Meditate?

Do You Meditate?

I just started to meditate.

Initially, I was really unsure of the whole idea of meditation – I had always prided myself on getting things done so the thought of stopping and doing what I thought was ‘nothing’ seemed somewhat counterproductive to me.

So, what caused me to start?

It seemed that wherever I looked there was so much evidence of the benefits of meditation.  From increasing your creativity and focus to decreasing your stress levels and improving your overall health – there were so many benefits reported that I felt I really could not ignore it any longer.  What I also discovered was a study from Harvard Medical School highlighting that meditation could also have a positive effect on your brain functioning.   Given that I felt my body and brain could use all the help they could get, I thought maybe I needed to challenge my potentially outdated views of meditation.

The first thing I learned is that you don’t need to be in a lotus position to meditate (phew!) – you just need to sit in a comfortable, upright position (another tip – don’t lie down – this is not supposed to be a nap).  I then started to meditate by just shutting my eyes, slowly breathing in and out and just focusing on my breathing. (If you’ve never meditated before – here’s a good beginner’s guide video).

The first time I attempted to meditate, at about 5 minutes I found myself starting to get beads of sweat on my forehead as I thought about how much longer I had to do this for.  I then began to make lists in my mind about all the things that I could be doing instead of this.  I figured that this was probably a sign that I should stop and try again later.

The next day, I managed to get to about 8 minutes before other distracting thoughts in my mind became so loud that I had to stop.  The day after that I managed about 10 minutes and then finally by the end of the week I had reached about 15 minutes.  I also discovered that when I meditated, I really needed to do it in a quiet and undisturbed location because in my active household; however well intentioned my family was – they still banged around and asked me questions during my meditation session so a quiet and isolated area became a necessity.

It’s been about 7 weeks now and I am now able to comfortably meditate for 25 minutes about 3 to 4 times a week.  I have found that I am now actually looking forward to this quiet time for myself.  I do feel I have increased my attention, creativity and focus and am managing my priorities more effectively.  Whether I am actually improving my brain activity or not I probably will never know but I figure given that there is even the remote possibility that I might be –  it’s probably a good investment of my time.

What about you?  Have you ever tried meditation?  What was your experience?

I would love to hear your thoughts….

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