In this modern world, rushing through your day may be the status quo.
Thanks to the new advances in technology every year.
Transportation, digital communications, gaining information streams right away through the internet, even sending money to someone or shopping online is just one click away.
But, as the world is evolving to the new advances in technology, our mind is gradually trained to want things to be easy.
Everything is becoming easy, and the more things are easy, the more things are done fast.
With things done fast, the fewer actions we perform.
Actions or physical movements cause us to focus and be more mindful. – Noticed how focused and proactive runners are?
So, the fewer actions we perform, the more we are in our thoughts which is prone to stress – which is likely to ruminate.
Stress is your body’s reaction to thoughts that make you feel frustrated.
The fastness of things can also cause us to develop a short attention span which will lead to loss of mental focus – which can produce feelings of anxiety that causes fatigue.
If this kind of unhealthiness is being repeated daily for a long time, it will be embedded in the subconscious mind that becomes natural – and sadly, that’s one of the main ways that could develop illness of depression in people’s mind over time.
Depression and Grieving
The rates of suicide in different places and countries are rising, and it’s heart-breaking.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is almost 800,000 people die from suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.
And aside from those who died from suicide, there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.
Depression is a key risk factor for suicide.
Most of people’s understanding about depression is that it is based on a high impact event that caused someone to grieve such as loss of a loved one, separation from a marriage, or incapability to pay debt.
But grieving and depression are different.
Depression is an illness, and grieving is a natural reaction conventionally focusing on the emotional response to loss.
Depression is developed gradually over time, mostly for years, while grieving is situational and caused by one or more high impact events.
Grieving is mostly healed by time combined with self-help and the help from others, but it can also be a trigger to an existing or growing depression.
Some people diagnosed with deep depression are being treated with drugs prescribed by their doctors.
But, those drugs often come with their own side-effects – most of those people are healed only temporarily, and it gets much worse when the pain and illness rush back again.
Most likely, they have been looking for solutions in the wrong places.
Stillness is the Mind’s Safe Haven
I’ve read an article from the Church of Jesus Christ Org.
It was about experiencing turbulence in an airplane.
What a student pilot may do or think is to increase the speed to get them through the turbulence faster.
But, that may not be the right strategy.
The experienced, professional pilots, reduce the speed because there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence.
The same principle applies to life.
You are the pilot in this fast-paced modern way of living.
When you slow down, you will see things much clearer.
It’s because slowing down makes you more deliberate, mindful, and focused on your choices.
One of the best things I’ve learned to gain control of my mind is through Meditation.
When I was studying Psychology in college, I never gave Meditation importance until I discovered its benefits through experience.
And that was years after I graduated.
I’ve been suffering anxiety randomly over the years – to the point where I’d poke my chest in the hope that it could help repress the dreaded feelings.
Aside from all the new healthy habits I have now, Meditation was the best cure of all the anxieties I had.
I don’t remember when was the last time I poked my chest – it’s completely cured.
Also, some studies show that Meditation can be more effective than medication.
I know that Meditation is not known to some people, some would even think it’s some kind of weird activity.
But they may not be aware of all the extraordinary health benefits of meditating, and it’s something that people from different countries have been doing for centuries.
Understanding Mindfulness Meditation
The state of our mind is the most determining factor of our sense of peace and happiness.
A person can have all that he wanted and achieve his dreams and yet still feel lonely, anxious, and miserable.
While another person can have very little and yet feel contented and at peace in his mind as he works in achieving his dreams.
Meditation has countless ways and benefits to enhance this state of mind.
It has a way to alleviate stress and pain, change in metabolism, blood pressure, better sleep, concentration, and so on.
Meditation also helps us control and improve our focus.
Focus is like the flashlight of our consciousness, and whatever we put our focus on will manifest more of it.
The bottom line of Meditation is to experience peace and exist in the present.
In essence, any activity that brings a sense of calm, peace, and self-reflection can be considered as Meditation.
The first time I was totally intrigued by the subject was because of the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
I have also discovered that not everyone understands the essence of the book until one is ready.
As Eckhart Tolle said, some readers gave a copy of the book to a friend or relative and were surprised and disappointed when the recipient found it meaningless and could not get beyond the first few pages.
But, you’re here, reading this, and maybe you could take this as a sign that you should give it a try to find out.
You may be one of those people – including me – who’s ready and could tell that the book just came in time.
Related Post: The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
As a starter, here are some tips for you to begin your practice.
There are two kinds of mindfulness meditation – the guided meditation and individual meditation.
This is a kind of Meditation in which you listen to another person’s calming voice, and they guide your thoughts, focus, and awareness through instructions.
The first time I experienced guided Meditation was in my major class in third year college.
My professor did it so well, and it’s one of my best experiences as a Psych student.
But again, I didn’t give it much importance, and I only came back to it years after I genuinely realized its benefits to my state of being.
I found guided Meditation to be the best way to practice the basics.
I first began my guided meditation practice by listening to YouTube channels because they’re free.
There are countless guided meditations on YouTube that you can choose whatever works best for you.
You can also use apps such as Calm app or Headspace.
I tried both, and they’re worth it.
I am currently subscribed to Calm app because, for me, it has the best guided sessions and categories so far.
Their background sounds of calming nature is a plus!
The basics of individual Meditation is to lie comfortably in a cushion or chair with a relaxed but wakeful posture.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control the breath and just breath naturally without controlling its pace or intensity.
Focus your attention on the breath in every inhalation and exhalation.
Observe your body movement as you breathe.
Choose which part has a much clearer movement – your chest, shoulders, stomach, or even just the feeling of the air through your nose – and focus on that part.
If your thoughts distract you, simply return your focus back to your breath without judging the thoughts.
Other Kinds of Meditation
Any activity that brings a sense of calm, peace, and self-reflection can be considered as Meditation. These are two other tips that I have tried that could also work for you.
Trataka or Candle Meditation
The first Meditation I have intentionally practiced as a starter was candle meditation, or known as “Trataka.”
It was first introduced and suggested to me by a past colleague who worked in a call center or BPO industry, and they used it as one of their stress management in the company.
Many people find it easier to clear their mind when focusing on an object, and one of the best ways to do this is focusing on candlelight.
To start, select a non-toxic candle and find a quiet room so your inner state will match.
Turn off your phone notifications or sounds to avoid distraction during the session.
Turn the lights off or dim the lights so it will be much easier to focus on the candle.
Place the candle at eye level or just below your eye level and place it approximately 20 inches away from you so it will not appear too bright.
Sit in a comfortable but wakeful position.
Meditate and clear your mind through breathing steadily and staring at the flame.
As a starter, you want to do it consistently for at least once a day, so begin with only a few minutes.
I started with only 3-5 mins.
By playing the right kind of music that makes your mind just drift off and relax can also be considered as Meditation.
One way I do this is by playing my guitar early morning because it has a way to bring me into a meditative state.
You can also just lay down, close your eyes, and enjoy listening to relaxing music.
Start your meditation practice in a “mini habit” way and with consistency.
You can start by practicing 3-5 mins every day.
Or just by making a habit of counting your breath randomly.
I count five breaths whenever I’m not able to meditate within the day – that way I’m not skipping a day – that’s a mini habit way! Hah! – Thanks to Stephen Guise with this strategy.
Give yourself a sense of calmness and peace in the first hour of your morning.
By waking up with a sense of calmness, prayer, silence, gratitude, and relaxed state of mind – instead of rushing as you wake up with your alarm – it’s such a joyous and perfect way to start each day.
By repeating that kind of healthiness in your daily routine for a long time, it will change your paradigm, and it will change your life.