When was the last time you really breathed? A deep inhale, a strong exhale, with closed eyes and your mind solely focused on that simple act?
We are inundated with information and quotes on how to be present, but, breaking away from the cycle of information flooding our minds is just part of gaining peace. We are told that in order to be happy and complete in this world, we must work hard and sacrifice. Grinding has become celebratory — losing sleep, the norm.
This is why especially in today's information overload world, meditation is more important than ever. According to Psychology Today, "the act of meditating can shift people's thoughts from the stress-prone right frontal cortex to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift decreases the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety."
The thought of meditation may bring to mind a number of images, but what does the act mean to you? Is it s a wacky, spiritual practice that you've shied away from? Have you attempted it before, but find that you can't silence your mind?
Whether you consider it a spiritual practice or simply a way to find balance in your day, meditation is an excellent way to center your thoughts, and in turn, yourself.
To be present in a moment is to fully receive your life. It is a moment to feel the simple things you may have lost touch with over the years: the sound of your breath, the tingle in your fingertips, and most importantly, simply being. It is a way to set a positive intention for the day.
The next time your alarm clock goes off, do not reach your phone or turn on your computer or TV. Instead, stretch your body either lying down or sitting upright. Close your eyes. Fill your stomach with air and breathe out fully through your nose. Repeat three times. Visualize peace, whatever that looks like for you. Silence the voices in your head that tell you that your job sucks, your love life sucks, your body is not perfect enough and your salary is not high enough. In this moment, you are perfectly whole, and your only job, is to simply breathe.
Our thoughts can set the tone for the day. If you say your day is going to suck, you've already made up your mind and have made it so. Meditation is an easy way to guide your thoughts toward something positive. The next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, in a stressful situation at work or at home, use your breath to guide you back to yourself. No one can expend your energy without your permission, so use that energy towards self-regeneration through meditation. Your body and thoughts will change for the better!