A long, hard day at work leaves you feeling grumpy and self-indulgent. An argument with a close friend or family member makes you angry and irritable. Unforgiving life circumstances force you into depression.
Or do they?
While the scenarios listed above may seem automatic, the truth is that external circumstances do not create our emotions. We do that ourselves, and we can change the way we do it through mindfulness and meditation.
As a matter of fact, mindfulness and meditation can keep us safe from the horrors of certain mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. It takes a lot of hard work, but cultivating a mindful life is worth every drop of sweat and tears.
Being mindful of yourself, your surroundings, and others means maintaining a certain baseline awareness of the reality that surrounds you. It means keeping a balance in life, not overindulging in particular pleasures, but also not withholding enjoyment from ourselves.
Meditation is an ancient and sacred practice which has both mental and physical healing powers. Both of these practices can reduce the physical and emotional pain you suffer and increase energy levels and creativity.
Life might thrash us and throw us about like a storm at sea, but we’re not as unknowing as a wooden sailboat. Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to our loved ones to learn to maintain an even keel. Will you swim through the waters, drown in them, or glide over-top with the grace of a swan? It all comes down to how you prepare yourself, and the choices you make every day.
For beginners, I recommend to start meditating for 5-15 minutes three times a week, and work towards doing it every day. At the same time, work on keeping a gratitude journal that your write in every morning or every night, or both. Overall these activities shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes out of your day, but they will pay dividends in weeks, months, and years to come.
Meditation allows you to reflect on the moment, calming your mind and helping you to live in the now instead of stressing about tomorrow or worrying about the past.
According to a study done at the University of Montreal, mindfulness based therapy can have a significant impact on reducing mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Mindfulness is a movement now in 2019. Check your phone, your search engine, and your favourite social media platform. You’ll find apps for mindfulness and meditation, courses, retreats, groups, forums, questions, and answers. More and more people are realizing the benefits of mindfulness and meditation and beginning to reap the rewards. I often feel like these lifestyle changes are at least partially responsible for saving my life.
They could save your life, or the life of a loved one, too. It’s worth 10-20 minutes a day to start expanding your mind, your consciousness, your awareness, and your well being. It’s worth making the change yourself, and sharing it with others so they can be inspired to do the same.
If you’re still reading this, congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of the blog post. I CHALLENGE you to meditate for at least five minutes today, and do some personal research on mindfulness. Afterwards, please report back to me by posting in the comments or on social media! I’ll be sure to respond and answer any questions you might have. I look forward to sharing this journey into self actualization with you!
As always, your friend Donovan.
University of Montreal Study: https://verksampsykologi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Khoury_2013_mindfulness-metaanalys.pdf
A long, hard day at work leaves you feeling grumpy and self-indulgent. An argument with a close friend or family member makes you angry and irritable. Unforgiving life circumstances force you into depression