Is meditation on your mind?
by Richelle Mottosky
From a psychological perspective meditation includes the practice of mindfulness: bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience helping to improve self-regulation.
Self-regulation is one’s capacity to alter behaviours and includes numerous mental functions strengthened by mindfulness and meditation. It provides an increased capacity to choose to respond rather than react to life circumstances.
Self-regulation increases self-awareness, emotional resilience, and the ability to cope with stress while strengthening our connection to self and others. A regular practice of meditation increases mental clarity, focus and vitality – so why is it so hard to do?
3 common myths of meditation
Although meditation is the newest buzz word, myths abound. These are the three most common myths for you to consider.
Myth #1: we must sit. The simple reality is that bringing awareness to what we are thinking and feeling is meditation and can be done anywhere.
Myth #2: we must clear our mind. A blank mind is simply not possible (our heart beats, our mind thinks). The goal, rather, is to become aware of our automatic internalized thoughts and notice the associated feelings. This process challenges us to choose healthy responses rather than comfortable reactions.
Myth #3: meditation equals relaxation. While relaxation is a bi-product, meditation is challenging; it takes practice.
MindFULness is present moment awareness of body sensations, emotions, thoughts; the interactions of these; and how they influence your behaviour. This awareness allows us to deal with what is happening now—where we have power—rather than time traveling to the past, where we no longer have control, or the future where we can’t know the true circumstances. Our growth involves learning how to utilize our minds to inform and move us toward clarity, peace and intimacy.
Ready to jump in?
Engage a professional to help you learn this powerful skill. Take a class, participate in yoga, and set aside time to observe yourself. The more you understand your mind, the easier it is to live well.