09 May Meditation: A Few Thoughts From Our President, Jeff Russell
Meditation isn’t anything new. It’s been around since 1500 BC, which is quite some time. One of the reasons it’s never gone out of style and continued to increase in popularity over the centuries is its many benefits, including:
- Builds skills to help manage stress
- Increases your self-awareness
- Reduces negative emotions
- Increases imagination and creativity
- Strengthens patience and tolerance
So, some huge benefits! One of the things I appreciate most about medication, besides the benefits, is there is no right or wrong way to do it. The key is finding your jam and the practice that is right for you!
I remember the first time I attempted to meditate. I was told to think about nothing. Cool!
If you know me, it’s no surprise that I tend to move around and think a lot, so this experience was not easy for me. I spent the entire time thinking about thinking about nothing. I was stressed (totally counterproductive) because I couldn’t stop my thoughts!
Well, the good news is that there are actually quite a few different types of meditation. Visualization meditation worked the best for me and has been my practice for years.
Below, I’m sharing the most common types with more info about each:
- Mindfulness meditation: Focus on awareness of your thoughts passing through your mind. No judgment, no digging deep, just observing.
- Spiritual meditation: Beneficial for those who seek spiritual growth and a deeper connection to a higher power or spiritual force. It can involve prayer or practices specific to a religion or spiritual belief.
- Focused meditation: Involves concentration focused on any one of the five senses and can involve listening to a gong (sound), counting beads (touch), or staring at a candle (sight). Another example was moon gazing. If anyone has done this, I’d love to learn more.
- Movement meditation: Walking, gardening, tai chi, and any other form of movement falls into this category. It’s great for people working toward body awareness or who want to find peace in movement.
- Mantra meditation: A great practice if you like repetition and sound! It involves speaking a specific sound to help clear the mind. One of the most popular is “om.”
- Transcendental Meditation (TM): Best done by working with a certified TM practitioner and designed to quiet the mind and induce a state of calmness.
- Progressive relaxation: The goal is to release tension in the body and promote relaxation by tightening and then releasing one muscle group at a time.
- Loving-kindness meditation: Used to strengthen feelings of compassion, acceptance, and kindness to yourself and others by opening the mind to receive and send good feelings to others.
- Visualization meditation: Involves imaging a scene, using all five senses, in as much detail as possible. This can help with increasing focus and motivation. (My jam!)
The BIG takeaway here is that meditation can work for anyone!
You just have to find the one that works for you. So, pick one from the list and try it. Movement meditation is an easy one. If it doesn’t work, go through the list and keep trying.
I guarantee the time you invest will be far outweighed by the benefits you receive! If you want to talk more, come see me.
Life is good. – Jeff
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