Meditation is nothing new. For millennia, humankind has sought refuge from the stresses of daily life by retreating to a place of quiet contemplation. For some, this refuge takes the form of prayer to their deity. For others, it is a time of quieting the mind and focusing on relaxation. Still others find this haven in pondering philosophic and spiritual questions or in taking time to study and learn about such things. And some just take a walk in the park or curl up with the family pet and a good book. All of these are just a few examples of the ways we humans tap into the power of this principle.
This seemingly universal human need allows us to break, if only for a little while, the constant cycle of stress in our lives. More importantly, this introspective time helps us to reconnect with ourselves and our “source,” whatever that might mean to us individually. And taking some time in meditation on a daily basis opens us up to experiences like inspiration, deeper understanding of our lives, and just plain peace. It has also been shown to have tremendous health benefits as well, helping with stress-related ailments, lowering blood pressure, and regulating autonomic functions in the body.
Regardless of your spiritual, religious, philosophic, or scientific beliefs, developing a routine practice of daily meditation is an essential and universally beneficial means of maintaining peace of mind, focus, and even physical health. Meditation doesn’t have to be a mystical spiritual practice, nor does it have to conform to any set of rules or criteria. In other words, you can make your daily meditation time into something that resonates with and works for you. If you belong to a specific religion, use the wonderful traditions of your religion – prayers, incantations, or rituals and ceremonies – to tap into the benefits of meditation. If you are a nature lover, set aside some time every day to sit (or walk) outside and enjoy the beauty. If you’re a fitness buff, do a little yoga or stretching every day to relax the body, mind, and spirit. You get the idea…
The idea of meditation is to quiet the mind, focus on calming the body, and connect with your deeper self. How you do it is up to you. But doing it consciously and every day is the best way to tap into its power. So, consider this commitment to yourself: Can you set aside an hour every day to meditate in whatever way works for you? How about a half-hour? How about 10 minutes? Remember, there are no rules. The key is to get into the habit of doing it daily. With our busy lives, it can seem impossible to “squeeze in” a “luxury” like meditation. I would argue that it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity – one of the most important and beneficial commitments you can make to yourself. No matter how busy you are, you could always wake up 10 minutes earlier in the morning, right? Or go to bed 10 minutes later? If you do, you will quickly find that you’re better able to cope with stress, more focused throughout your day, and generally happier and healthier. And you deserve those things!