Most of us are aware of the many benefits of meditation. It can lower anxiety and increase well being as well as keeping your physical health at its peak by lowering blood pressure and tension. Most types of meditation involve focusing the mind or attention on one’s breath or repeating a phrase or “mantra” to oneself to still the everyday narrative we all have going on inside our heads. When people start meditation, the mind wanders and you’ll find yourself thinking about anything but the task at hand. The task then is to refocus the awareness and continue….eventually you will focus longer and become distracted less. Basically, keep on trying, and you will achieve greater focus. As I said in my first post, small changes can have large impacts on well being. If you can turn off the chatter and mental narrative, you can avoid having unconscious responses to imagined scenarios, lowering stress. Meditation can also be a physical act such as yoga involving both the body and mind to focus concentration.
I have a little idea I like to remember or stumble upon throughout my day. It’s not really a mantra per se, but is a phrase that I do repeat to myself none the less: “Each moment is an opportunity to focus and relax”. I’ll be at work or driving or making dinner and that phrase will pop in my head out of nowhere. At that point, I usually choose to try to relax my muscles or my shoulders where I hold a lot of tension and try to focus my awareness on staying relaxed or perhaps breathing. Maybe I’ll just repeat “Each moment is an opportunity to focus and relax” to myself and try to focus only on that. The important fact is that I have “remembered” to try to meditate a little bit throughout the day, giving me a break from the routine. I’m not sure exactly how this phrase evolved in my life, but you could certainly try repeating it to yourself as a mantra and see if that repetition doesn’t help cement that thought. As I come back to what I am doing, I try to focus on only what I am doing at the time and try to do that task as focused and as good as I can. This form of meditation on whatever you are doing is called karma yoga.
Finding a few moments each day to relax and breathe can only help with your overall health in the long run. And strengthening your “meditation muscle” can only help you out as well. Increased focus will improve performance through lower distraction. Lower distraction will make one more productive as well. When we strengthen awareness through meditation, you can stop telling yourself how things should be and focus on doing whatever you are doing at that time the best you possibly can. [Tweet “Absolute perfection is impossible. But each moment is perfect in that moment.”] If you are trying your hardest in that moment and trying your best in that moment, that is perfection attained.