Meditating: woolly, spiritual in nature, crazy Eastern tradition? Originally perhaps, but since the West has started working with it and scientists have dived into the phenomenon, one thing has become painfully clear: daily just 10 to 20 minutes of meditation leads to a finer, easier, and healthier life. What that means, you read like that here.
It is so very normal for people to go to the gym, or see someone go to the gym. It is at least as obvious when someone has put a lot of time and attention into his or her body. But to notice that someone trains his brain every day, you have to be more careful. And even then you may never notice. Perhaps you describe such a person as calm, friendly, or even wise. Or maybe that person just has ‘good vibes’. While he or she ‘secretly’ perhaps take time every morning and evening to decouple from what Tibetan monks call ‘monkey mind’: that infinite stream of random thoughts, which we all deal with on a daily basis.
That is what meditation really is, and also the meaning of the Tibetan word (gom) before: becoming familiar with the moment now. Think about it for a moment. Because what does ‘the moment now’ mean? That is now. You, who now take the trouble to read this blog (thanks for that by the way). And now. Not yesterday, or what you did yesterday. Not tomorrow, or what you think you will do tomorrow. But now. Do you already understand?
If every 8 years old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation. – Dalai Lama
The cause of our stress
It is never the moment now. To pretty little of what happens outside the moment now, you can do something. In this sense, the past is purely a memory and the future is only an estimation of how you think (or assume) that it will be. A large part of our stress comes from these memories and assumptions. Meditating is a means of practicing ‘the moment now’ as it were, getting to know it and realizing it. Doing so regularly has so many advantages for both your mind and your body, that it is absurd to say that it is not yet established as, for example, fitness is.
That is what this blog is for, of course. To tell you about the usefulness and the power of meditation. A few scientifically supported reasons why you should also strive for a killer mind in addition to a killer body.
Reason 1: You have more capacity to be happier
Our brains are grinding 47% of the time, a Harvard study recently revealed. In essence, that means that we are busy 47% of the time with what is not going on, with what is not going on. Example: “What if I do not pass my exam? My mom and dad are not going to really like that and then I can not go to the school that I want. Oh, and I have to do some shopping later. Macaroni and … cheese, I think, I should get. Pff, just start to learn for the next week’s test. Jesus, really do not feel like it. But, ‘what does that mean’, they say? What should I do again? Macaroni and …? ”
And exactly that is a direct cause of a large part of our unhappiness. An effect of meditation is that your thoughts will stray less quickly into the past or the future. And if they do, you will soon be aware of it and can bring your thoughts back to the here and now.
We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way we experience it.
– Andy Puddicombe
Just remember that we do not live that long, let’s say about 80 years on average. We spend a third of them asleep. The other 47% of our waking hours are apparently busy with things that probably do not really matter … That’s pretty tragic, not to say stupid? You have to imagine what happens when you spend 40% of that time and attention that you put into hesitating about unimportant things in something useful or something nice.
Reason 2: You become less susceptible to illness
For an experiment, the flu virus was administered to practitioners of meditation and to people who did not. The test results showed that people who did meditate produced more antibodies, which of course helps to fight the virus. In addition, they also had a stronger immune system.
Reason 3: It literally changes your brain – for good
The brain volume of a group of people who participated in a mindfulness program for eight weeks had been visibly increased (for brain scans). The gray matter had become denser in areas that are associated with learning, memory, and dealing with emotions.
Reason 4: You are nicer for yourself and your environment
Scientists compared the brains of Buddhist monks with those of novice meditation students. What they found was that the area of the brain associated with empathy was much larger among the monks. Meditating literally also changes your brain waves, and these frequencies can also be measured. People who meditate have more ‘Alpha’ waves, which we know reduce feelings such as bad mood, tension, sadness, and anger.
Reason 5: You are more resistant to mental illness and physical pain
Give yourself (and indirectly others) a bit more peace of mind, a bit more joy, and a healthier body and mind. Live fully here and now, and not half in yesterday and tomorrow. If you are not going to be unhappy (of) a decision, then it is if you decide to meditate right now. Ten to twenty minutes a day to make the rest of your time here on earth a lot more pleasant. Not a bad deal, right?
I am convinced! The whole summer we pay more attention to meditation and we take on the challenge to meditate every day. Do you also participate?
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