29 Jul Meditation and other practices for better living
Author: Beatriz Puche
In my opinion, there are no absolute truths and few universal formulas. This line of thought leads me to reflect on meditation, a practice which has been in vogue for many years now, and with good reason, as studies have shown the transformative power that meditation has on the mind. Personally, my relationship with meditation was forged years ago, and if I had to say what benefit it has brought me, I have no doubt that it has helped me to control and regulate emotions, such as anger, grief or fear, much better. I would be lying if I said that I do not get caught up in my emotions any more, but are no longer so powerful and overwhelming.
I would not be surprised, dear reader, if you are among those who have meditated at some point in life but have not established the habit, or even if you are one of those people that cannot bear to meditate. If you belong to the first group and want to try again, I would encourage you to meditate at least 5 minutes a day and, from there, see if you create the habit. Also, one of the advantages about this practice is that you can adapt it to you: sitting in a chair, on a cushion or lying in bed (always making sure it is not at a time when you are likely to go to sleep). You can meditate silently by focusing on your body and breathing, saying a mantra or listening to a guided meditation on the Internet. There are apps for meditation that you can download to your mobile phone, websites that explain the practice in detail and even online and face-to-face courses.
However, if you find meditation extremely boring or unbearable, there are many other activities that bring similar benefits, such as gardening, walking, or even DIY, to name a few. Just remember: when you do any of these or other such things, focus your attention, at least for a few minutes, on what you are doing as if nothing else exists. Focus on what you see, hear, smell and touch. It is about putting your five senses in what you are doing and, hence, in the present moment.
Equally, you can dampen your emotional discomfort with the help of a good friend or family member by simply sharing your worries and feeling the support and understanding that some of our loved ones bring to us. And of course, there are counsellors and psychotherapists, to accompany you in times of crisis and help you find your own tools to face the challenges that we all face in life, always with compassion, empathy and not being judgemental.
In short, find your own path, listen to your inner self and choose what works best for you. There are no magic balms, but there is an exciting array of possibilities.
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