Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let's Talk About Meditation..

What's up, guys!

Apologize for the lack of posts lately. Work has taken up a lot of my time and with spring far on the way I have been keeping busy with just about everything else, too. One of those things is a new habit and the fact that it's been such a positive thing, I knew I had to share it with you guys - and that is meditation.

Now, I know what you're thinking, at least if you don't practice it yourself. I had those thoughts, too. As soon as I heard the word meditation, I instantly thought of something spiritual; a ritual, kind of woo-woo, religious, weird humming-out-loud type of thing... But during the past few years I've heard so much positive things about it from various people, from a health- and psychological aspect, that I've become too curious to keep living in ignorance. And now I'm convinced, I have plenty of reason to try and make it a daily habit of mine.

So what is meditation, really? Wikipedia defines it as a "practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself."
Hmm, again, nothing spiritual or anything like it.
Some people also compare it to similar mind "training" as fitness is training of the body. It's all about reaching a level of mindfulness and inner calm, which will lead to a higher level of consciousness. Sounds fancy, huh? Meditation is also proven to be healing and extremely anti-age for the mind, body and soul!

 It just so happens, that we have a tendency to react heavily with our emotions, for example, getting very angry at someone in traffic.. (been there, done that! I mean, who hasn't, right..? haha). The trick is to not let our emotions take over, not to become a slave to them, and surrender to that raging feeling of anger, but rather realizing, that not every emotion, or every situation you encounter, needs a reaction. You learn to let your thoughts, which at the time come up in your mind and seem overwhelming, pass, without obeying all of the (sometimes terrible) ideas or feelings. You'll try not to act on them, just ackowledging them, and moving on. Meditation teaches you how to be observant, instead of reactive. You are able to ignore that almost like a voice, who speaks to you, inside your head. It may tell you to eat that 10000th piece of chocolate or to say something hurtful that you're guaranteed to regret. In the heat of the moment, it is easy not to second guess your thoughts and what you feel like doing/saying. I'm sure you've heard of the quote, control your mind or it will control you.. Yeah, that's exactly what meditation is supposed to help with. :)

A few years ago was when I first tried it, during a particularly stressful exam period of my Bachelor's degree, it did help me to calm down and clear my thoughts, before going to bed, for example. The beauty of meditation, I've learned, is that it can look different for everybody. You can do it in so many ways! With music, without music, sitting, lying, alone, or on the bus, listening to a guided session or just in complete silence.. The options are endless and there doesn't seem to be a "right way" to meditate, as long as you feel you've become present, calm, concentrated and, yeah, mindful. And no, you don't need to keep your hands to your heart, palms facing each other like in the yoga pose. Meditation and yoga aren't the same, although it's used in yoga a lot. :)

There are many apps available, and YouTube videos, too, to help you get started. I've tried for example an app called 'Headspace', it let's you try a 10-day free introduction of 10 minutes a day. It's available on App Store and Google Play, too. But don't think you need to meditate in a certain way, all you need to do is close your eyes, breath deeply, in and out, in from the nose and out from the mouth (that's at least what many of the "gurus" recommend, haha).

If you need more convincing and are curious to learn more, read this awesome article: 
Because it seems it really can turn you into a superhuman! ;)

So, I've decided to incorporate meditation to my daily life as of lately, and thought knowing how good it actually is for our bodies may make you want to give it a go as well. Don't think it will take too much time out of your busy day - just start off with a couple of minutes, and increase from there, and see how you feel. Trying it won't hurt you. :)
I've already noticed how even short daily sessions help me stay calmer (not let stress take over) and fall asleep quicker, if done right before bed.

On another note, tomorrow I'm off to Amsterdam with my bestie. So ready to explore another new, beautiful city!

Thank you for reading and have a lovely rest of the week! I'll be back next week with a story about my trip to the Netherlands. Woopwoop!

x Mira

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