The word meditation stems from meditatum, a Latin term that means ‘to ponder.’ Through the practice of meditation, we seek to find a deeper connection with our body, mind and spirit. The earliest written records citing meditation were found in India dating from around 1500 BC. Some time around the 1700’, meditation began spreading into the West, after several texts from Eastern philosophy, referencing meditation techniques and practices, were translated into European languages. Meditation has become a common practice in many cultures over multiple centuries, popular even to this day.
Meditation helps us focus on the present. With the increasing amount of stress people face in their daily lives, we often lose sight of all the beauty in the world around us. We are bombarded by the needs of the day and the thoughts of past or future events that hound us constantly. Sitting quietly with ourselves allows the mind a moment to relax and let go of those thoughts for a bit. The stillness of the mind is very achievable through meditation practices. It can benefit our ability to stay focused and present in the moment. If we are constantly worried about the future or buried in thoughts about the past, we’ll miss out on things going on in “the now”. Life can amaze us if we’re paying attention. Meditation also helps us to gain a new perspective on stressful situations. Things in life have a way of building quickly into complex and often unpleasant events. People in modern times are still wired for a “fight or flight” response, a prehistoric trait we possess from the times when we literally needed a boost of adrenaline and cortisol to defend ourselves or run really fast. This response is triggered every time we are confronted with stressful situations, and the way we handle them is integral to how our body chemistry maintains balance. Too much cortisol can be like poison in the body, causing premature aging and other health concerns. By meditating, we retrain our mind to be present without reacting, but instead, observing and formulating an optimal response.
Building skills to manage your stress is also an important part of recovery. Meditation is great for cultivating patience and tolerance. These traits are a part of mindfulness, which is key to managing stress. In any situation it is always best to be as aware and present as possible so that the mind can process information efficiently.
Mindfulness also reduces negative emotions and increases self-awareness. The process through which we achieve a meditative state is one of repetition and serves to teach the mind new ways to deal with thoughts, negative or positive. We become less affected by the outside world and begin turning inwards for answers. Negative thoughts that do not serve us are less likely to arise in everyday situations and we find more and more that we can expand upon these meditation practices for solutions to problems.
Mindfulness mediation works to enhance creativity and innovation. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can have many positive effects on workplace outcomes. CEO’s and heads of state have taken up meditation because they find it helps them switch gears when stress piles up.
Our facility offers daily meditation and available resources for those who are interested in meditation or who may already be practicing it. Remember to be playful with your meditation. Have fun with it. Finding peace is just a few breaths away.