We know that winter in Rochester is the “time to chill.” But did you know that chilling out—taking a time out, a step away, or a deep breath—can help you live better and longer, restoring purpose and perspective to stressful days? There are, of course, many ways to relax and let go and today we’re focusing on one of the most effective: meditation.
Often defined as sustained periods of quiet contemplation and reflection, meditation cultivates the states of mind that promote inner peace and well-being. The philosophy behind meditation holds that, contrary to popular belief, happiness lies not in external circumstances (a winning lottery ticket, a thrilling romance, or a juicy steak) but within ourselves. “Happiness is a state of mind,” as the saying goes; meditation takes you there. Taking the time to meditate helps to silence the worries and discomforts that cloud our thinking, often popping up at the worst times to sow discontent and doubt. It also mitigates the “stress reaction” bombarding your body and brain.
Meditation doesn’t so much flood the brain with forced elation as it does set the mind at ease and at peace—cutting through mental clutter to achieve mental clarity. As a life strategy, meditation can bolster your resilience to stress by reducing the physical jolt of the body’s stress response. It also affords you a buffer to think before you speak, act, and even regret.
One obstacle to meditation is the notion that it’s practiced for hours in solitude and silence. Few of us can fit that kind of devotion into our days. The truth is, there are many ways to integrate meditation into our lives. Here are a few ideas:
Start with three minutes. If that seems too long, start with three deep breaths. You don’t need to think about “your bills, your ex, your deadlines,” as the Alanis Morissette song goes. You don’t even need to judge the quality and speed of your breaths. You just need to focus your attention on the sensation of breathing and let it wash over you.
Don’t worry if your mind wanders. That’s actually part of the point: to become aware of your drifting focus and then redirect your attention. Think of this as a mental exercise that makes you stronger, much like a physical workout would.h
There’s no rule that meditation has to happen sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed. Meditation can unfold during a walk (which provides ample opportunities to savor the sensation of your breath), your feet, the air, sights and sounds, etc. It can even happen while you’re cooking dinner.
Natural Health Chiropractic & Acupuncture serves the residents of Rochester, New York and the surrounding areas. Our location in Gates is conveniently located just off I-390 with easy access and plentiful parking. Easy to get to from Greece, Spencerport, Chili, and Henrietta.Leave a reply →