Neuroscientists have found that those who meditate regularly shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex – brain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. This mental shift can decrease the negative effects of stress, mild depression and anxiety. It’s also be shown to reduce activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear.
Here are some tips on finding the right kind of meditation that I can liken to…shopping.
If you think you might like to try meditation, read up, ask some friends and try and scope out a practice that’s right for you. You can go to loads of classes that are guided and that will give you a foot up. I recently went to a guided class at the Surry Hills Library with a Buddhist teacher. It included a Buddhist teaching which was really informative. You can search loads of guided meditations on iTunes so get busy, bliss out and find one that works for you. One I downloaded is for invoking a good sleep. It’s called, ‘Power Sleep – Guided Meditation for Deep Relaxation’ from Splendour of Meditation.
Like finding the perfect outfit, we often want to wear it all the time because it feels so damn good. Spend time each day in your perfect seated posture with your technique. Remember that you don’t always have to sit cross legged and incredibly uncomfortable. You can often sit upright in a chair or on a cushion. Like anything meditation takes time. The more you get used to sitting, the more ‘stuff’ comes up, the longer you can sit and the more you’ll get out of it. Often it takes a lot of practice. Patience is one of the best learnings from meditation.
Sometimes I can sit and sit and I can’t focus. That’s ok. Maybe that day you’re supposed to move a little more. Go for a run, a walk a swim and then if you feel like it return to your seat but otherwise wait until tomorrow. The beauty about meditation is that even if your dress size changes, the seat will always be there to come back to when you’re ready.
So, at the risk of offending some and drawing the similarities between fashion and meditation, I do it to relate, to keep it light and to promote the idea that we can use meditation to improve our every day living; even in maintaining a level head in choosing the perfect outfit.
**And on a side note, it is suggested not trying to meditate when you are extremely depressed, and especially not at times that you are having any thoughts of self-harm.