Understanding the Purpose of Meditation

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understanding the purpose of meditation, Understanding the Purpose of Meditation, Dr. Nicolle

Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset MondaysToday, let’s talk about understanding the purpose of meditation. Many religions and philosophies advocate meditation. Meditation is also used as a tool in many activities and for self-help purposes. While all of these things might be rather disparate, the reasons for performing the meditation are rather similar.

 

Most of us feel we have a reasonable understanding of the practice of meditation, but many of us can’t really describe the actual purpose.

 

A meditative practice brings you many benefits:

 

1. It’s the one time your mind really gets a rest. 

Your mind is constantly active. It’s thinking about ten different things every 15 seconds. It’s telling you that you need a drink of water. It’s worrying about your date next Saturday and reminding you that you don’t have enough money in your bank account to pay your cable bill.

  • Sleep isn’t any better. In your dreams, you’re largely acting and behaving the same way you do while awake. You’re still worrying about the same stuff during your dreams. Sleep is great for resting your body, but it’s not as useful for resting your mind.
  • In meditation, you create a space where your mind is essentially empty. In many forms of meditation, you focus on one, trivial thing and concentrate all your thoughts on that single item or idea. It’s incredibly relaxing.
understanding the purpose of meditation, Understanding the Purpose of Meditation, Dr. Nicolle

2. You learn how to focus. 

When you think of meditation, do you imagine someone sitting alone in a quiet room with subdued lighting? This is the easiest way to meditate, with no distractions. It’s like meditation with training wheels. But you could actually be meditating most of the time as well.

  • It’s easiest to learn to meditate under ideal conditions. Then, try expanding your meditation skills to other activities. You know you can really meditate when you can stay calm, happy, and focused on a loud, hot, busy, smelly subway. Don’t live near the subway? Try a long day with the in-laws.
  • Most of us focus very poorly. Imagine how much better you would feel and how much more you would accomplish if you could stay focused on the activity at hand. Plus, it’s hard to worry if you’re controlling the content of your thoughts.

3. You can find answers. 

When your mind is running a hundred miles an hour, it’s difficult to find elegant solutions to your challenges. A brain needs a little space to find effective solutions to tough challenges. Meditation can provide that needed space.

  • Have you ever noticed that many of your best ideas have come while doing something that occupies your mind in a rather mindless way? Activities like mowing the grass, taking a shower, or driving down the highway with little traffic are great for solving problems. Your mind is occupied but free to wander a little. Meditation is similar.

4. Meditation is healthy. 

Stress is incredibly hard on the body. Meditation reduces stress, lowers your pulse and blood pressure, and improves sleep.

  • Meditation can be done quickly. You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish and how much more enjoyable your day is when you meditate for a few minutes several times a day. Five minutes every hour is a great place to start.

Meditation isn’t just for a yogi in India sitting on top of a tree. Anyone can use meditation to bring rest and peace into their life. It can also improve your performance. Learn to meditate and enjoy a greater quality of life.

I would love to give you a free resource sheet to support your quest for a healthy mindset. Click the button below to receive your gift.

 

understanding the purpose of meditation, Understanding the Purpose of Meditation, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

If you are familiar with my approach, I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.

 

Tools For Motivation And Mindset

Meditating

Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point.  You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.

 

Journaling

If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.

 

Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

 

PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

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Understanding the Purpose of Meditation

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