I’d have to say, the most impactful habit I’ve sharpened in the last five to ten years of forming habits would definitely have to be meditation! In fact, meditation has helped me beyond all of the ways that I studied it would. It has helped me to become a more peaceful person, more aware, more appreciative of life and everything in it. It’s helps me worry less, especially about those things that were already out of my control in the first place!
Probably most importantly, it’s helped me in comprehending my own mind. I’m sure many of my fellow introverts can relate, but I spend a considerable amount of time in my head. It’s so easy to become consumed in my own little world of thoughts, mental connections, and self-conversation…following commands like an automation. Now, don’t get me wrong, meditation doesn’t eliminate these things, it just enables me to be more aware/conscious of what’s going on, allowing me to have the choice to succumb to it or not. It’s a wonderful form of freedom to experience…the freedom from the restraints of one’s own mind. Whew! This is why I highly recommend meditation to everyone!
I always like to approach things from a holistic point-of-view when discussing health and wellness. Meditation is another practice that has been in use for decades, and has been effective in providing healing and balance mentally, physically and spiritually!
THE MIND: Meditation has been demonstrated to bring the pattern of our brain waves into a relaxed state, thus promoting healing mentally. The mind becomes rejuvenated, free and peaceful. Regular practice of meditation can help you achieve the following mentally:
- Decreased anxiety
- Emotional stability
- Increased creativity
- Increased happiness
- Increased intuition
- Increased mental clarity
- Increased peace of mind
- Increased focus an concentration
- Decreased anger/frustration
THE BODY: Many people assume that the benefits of meditation are all mental or spiritual. However, surprisingly enough, during meditation our physiology undergoes a definite change. How so? Well, to begin with, each and every cell in the body is filled with more energy. This then leads to a boost in pleasure, harmony, excitement, and tranquility as the level of energy in the body continues to increase. Regular practice of meditation can help you achieve the following physically:
- Decreased blood pressure
- Decreased anxiety/panic attacks
- Decreases tension-related pain/problems (i.e. headaches/migraines, ulcers, muscle aches, joint aches, etc.)
- Increased serotonin production (this improves your mood)
- Enhanced immune system
- Increased energy levels
THE SPIRIT: Next to prayer, meditation is probably the most important activity I do for spiritual nourishing and enhancement. It’s definitely one of the secret weapons I use to elevate to higher levels of consciousness while on my path of spiritual awakening. It is a very important piece in my connection to God, and my conversation with God. Imagine having a conversation with someone that was one-sided, where that person just talked and talked and talked, giving you no space or opportunity to get a word in. The same goes for your relationship with God. Prayer to me is my opportunity to talk. Whether I’m requesting something, expressing gratitude, showering praise and worship, it’s still me talking. However, what is a true conversation without listening? Well, meditation is just that. I use meditation to listen for God’s responses…cues manifesting within the universe, direct messages from God, making sense of synchronicities, and just being aware of all I am connected to (i.e. the earth/nature, other people, other species, etc). Meditation is like having a spiritual cleansing whenever I feel unstable, overwhelmed, confused, or even just in need of additional peace of mind. Regular practice of meditation can help you achieve the following spiritually:
- Spiritual and emotional steadiness
- Spiritual harmony
- Closeness to your Creator and all things created
- Enhanced spiritual awakening
- Increased communication/confirmations from God
- Personal/spiritual transformation
- Self discovery
How to Begin
In order to experience the full benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. Doing it every now and then, sporadically, will not allow you to experience its true power. No matter how busy you feel that you are, just know that it only takes a few minutes; and once it’s become an automatic part of your daily routine, you’ll find that it may just become the very best part of your day! Stay tuned for part II of this blog to get specific directions and tips on how to easily begin incorporating meditation into your daily schedule. Namaste.
Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA
Returning to Nature, LLC.