This week’s blog comes from Deanna Bies, a TOPS Service Program Administrator and Board Member.
I used to have a really difficult time turning off my brain at night so I could sleep. I had to learn to calm it down—get myself in control of my own thoughts.
A friend invited me to a meditation group. Before I went, I was trying to figure out how I was going to sit cross-legged on the floor and still be able to get up after the session was done. I wasn’t sure I could focus long enough or wanted to be in a room full of people chanting weird things. After all, that’s what I had seen them do in the movies.
I was in for a big surprise. We had a choice to sit on the floor, in a chair or wherever we could be comfortable, and there was no chanting. The person leading the class explained some of the benefits of meditation:
- It helps improve your concentration. A clear mind helps you be more productive.
- You are less bothered by the little things. Sometimes we get really upset by things that, in reality, are not big at all. It helps us see the bigger picture.
- It leads to better health and relieves stress, which helps in most every area of our body.
- It gives you a better knowledge of self. You have a deeper understanding of your inner self and gain a better understanding of your life’s purpose.
Meditation in and of itself is simple—clear your mind of passing thoughts and be in the moment. Sure, easier said than done in the beginning. You’ll learn to breathe correctly (in through the nose and out through the mouth) and place your focus on one thing, like the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. You can listen to someone guide you in this process in a class or on a CD.
With practice, the benefits of meditation can get you through each day and help make it the best day that it can be. I no longer have my brain running wild when I close my eyes. Sleep is so much better.
NOTE: You can purchase a breathing exercises and meditation CD narrated by Deanna, called “Peaceful Place,” in the TOPS Store.