These are all words used to describe what meditation is and what it consists of.
Meditation is the act or process of spending time in quiet thought (Merriam-Webster, 2017). It is an intentional act used to focus your attention on one thing.It may not seem so feasible in our day to day lives to drop everything and give ourselves a moment to escape. Especially if there are many things we need to accomplish that we cannot afford to neglect (i.e. the responsibilities at our job and at home, the needs of our children and our spouses…). We get caught up in everything and everyone around us and before we know it, we’re on autopilot mode, losing out on being present in the present.
One of the few misconceptions of meditation may be that it needs to be a long, drawn-out activity. For someone who is just beginning this practice, 3-5 minutes is a good place to start and can make all the difference. With practice and persistence, your ability to remain in the meditative state can increase. Some of the most common elements of meditation include:
- A quiet environment
- A comfortable position/sitting posture
- A focus of attention (word, words, breathing, sensations)
- A passive and non-judgemental attitude
Why Practice Meditation?
Meditation is healthy for the mind, body and soul! It is a stress reliever that you can choose to do on your own, with your kids, or in a group. You will reap the many benefits that meditation offers.
Meditation has proven to be good for our health, both physiologically and emotionally. It slows down the heart rate and breathing, it decreases oxygen consumption and reduces blood lactate levels, a stress indicator in our body. It has been used to prevent and treat high blood pressure, heart disease, headaches and migraines, diabetes, and arthritis. In relation to our mind, meditation is calming and it helps prepare your mind for decision making. Meditation is also grounding and regulating.
In my personal experience and collaborating with parents here at Thrive, parents agree to use meditation in order to gain clarity and a gut feeling. Other times they have used it to feel calmer and more energized throughout the day. According to Robin Sharma, it takes 66 days to instill a habit. Habituate the practice of meditation through prayer, youtube meditations, a meditation CD or app.
Below is a recording of a meditation you can use to quiet your mind and body, created especially for the subscribers of the Thrive Blog. Please share with friends and family.
* Recorded by Sandra Henriquez, LIU OT Student, Class of 2017
*Meditation Piece from The relaxation & stress reduction handbook by Martha Davis.
Davis, M., Eshelman, E.R., & McKay, M. (2008). The relaxation & stress reduction handbook (6th ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Image. (2016). Retrieved from https://pixabay.com/p-1963903/?no_redirect.
Meditation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/meditation
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2017). Meditation: In-Depth. Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#hed2
Rock, D. (2010). New Study Shows Humans Are on Autopilot Nearly Half the Time. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-work/201011/new-study-shows-humans-are-autopilot-nearly-half-the-time
Rock, D. (2009). The Neuroscience of Mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-work/200910/the-neuroscience-mindfulness