Mental Health: Meditating and Mindfulness

Whenever my life gets crazy I remember the words of my wise director (Raging Red at DSU), she would always stress the importance of having a calm mind. What does having a calm mind mean, it means being able to focus on one thing or nothing and being fine with it. I first got into meditation when I joined Raging Red and my director stressed the importance of it. I was unsuccessful for a long time because I could not let random thoughts go. When I started getting into yoga, I was able to understand meditation better and practice it. At the end of each yoga session we would come into Shavasana (also known as Corpse Pose), which is one of the hardest yoga poses because it is hard to relax the mind to the point of letting thoughts and worries go. As I started participating in yoga weekly I learned to love Shavasana because I was able to relax my mind, let go of worries and life stresses. I will tell you that as soon as I would come out of Shavasana I would almost fill reborn or like I had just woken up from the best sleep.

For me it is easier to meditate while in Shavasana because I have had time to exercise my body so that when I get to the end of my practice my mind can relax. Meditating allows the body to heal. Another practice similar to mediating is Mindfulness. I had a professor at DSU who taught a Mindfulness class. I was greatly intrigued and so started researching Mindfulness. I found that the benefits were similar to mediating such as being able to focus on one thing for an extended period of time. One thing I did learn was that practicing Mindfulness and/or Mediation can increase grey matter in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is associated with  planning, problem solving, and emotion regulation.

I will dive deeper into the benefits of mediation and mindfulness in later posts, for now I want to stress the importance of mental health and being able to calm one’s mind. Because so much of how we react in different situations start with where our mind is. If we aren’t in a healthy mind-set to begin with then it will be easier to respond to life stressors or situations in anger or negatively. Remember it all starts with your thoughts.

 

Peace and Blessings!!

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