There are many reasons to learn to meditate and I think most people understand that it is a deeply quietening process which aids in the reduction of the stress in our daily lives. However, stress also induces a long list of serious mental and physical health problems, which form a much wider spectrum of reasons for learning to meditate.
Let’s deal first with the word stress. What does stress DO to us emotionally?
It can induce:
What does stress do to us physically?
The above-mentioned are to name but a few of the more common symptoms. Any one of these emotional or physical symptoms can make our lives a continuous struggle and will be affecting our quality of life.
There is stress and then there is chronic stress. Frequently when someone is suffering from chronic stress, they may not even realise they have it. They may well have any or several of the above list of ailments and syndromes but on the whole they are too strung out, ‘busy’ and, more often than not, depressed to pay attention to them. That is until they fall flat on their faces and are no longer able to put one foot in front of the other. Chronic stress can be avoided if we deal with our stress and acquire the ‘tool’ with which to deal with it in good time.
Regular meditation significantly reduces stress and its negative effects. It helps us get a handle on our lives. It helps us cope and continue to move forward and makes our life run smoother. However it is not easy. It is a skill which has to be learned and to learn anything new, we must practice. We will need to adjust our over-filled schedule to make and take the time to meditate, integrating meditation as a healthy part of our lives in the same way as we would shower and clean our teeth.
It’s all about the mindset.
We may well have come to the conclusion that we must do something about how we feel in order to get our lives back on track and therefore we have the will to actually find the right practitioner and teacher. That will comes to us initially only on an intellectual level, but what is needed is for it to connect to us at soul level in order for us to persist because meditation requires daily commitment and practice.
We are making this commitment not so much to our meditation teacher, nor even the group in which we sit – this commitment is primarily to ourselves!
We are all experts at finding excuses as to why we have not had time to meditate however the trick is not to find excuses as to why we have not been able to do it, but to find a way through our already over-stuffed schedules in order to do it, come what may.
This is why I talk about acquiring the right mindset and again, this will not just happen by itself. We have to be determined not to be beaten by our minds which will always try to dominate us. The internal chit chat will be saying “leave it for today, you are just too tired/busy/unwell/sad/depressed/angry” or, “there are too many people in the house/you are not at home in your own house/the children are noisy” etc, etc. The excuses our minds make can go on forever.
There are many other things we do manage to schedule into our lives which we would rarely allow ourselves to miss out on.
It’s so easy to find an excuse and not so easy to find reasons why we should. That takes application and determination. It involves our self-esteem and our issues with laziness.
I always tell my groups that there are only three good reasons not to be able to meditate:
Other than that, NOTHING should stop us finding one space in our day to meditate, every day (even Christmas Day).
Once mastered, Meditation becomes a strengthening, healing sanctuary and more importantly, it becomes our ‘Tool for Life’!
For best results make 30 minutes of Peace of Mind Meditation a daily ritual.
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Copyright: Sonia Wynn-Jones and Sue Blake - 2010