Strength in Stillness
A superhero needs to reside in the present moment. After all, the present moment, is where all of our lives take place. It's where we meet challenges, overcome obstacles, build relationships, and achieve victories. Meditation can help us focus, cope with stress, improve our health, and spark creativity.
It's easy to get trapped in our thoughts, becoming confined in the past or preoccupied with the future. The world can be a chaotic place. Now more than ever, information is accessible at the touch of a finger or the sound of a voice. We are constantly being bombarded with information and other time wasting forms of entertainment. Almost every electronic device, no matter what the size, has a screen. I think it's an understatement to say it's easy to get distracted.
That's why I recommend taking 10 minutes a day to sit quietly and do nothing. Just sit and breathe. Ten minutes equates to about 1% of the average person's day. That's a minuscule amount of time. Turn off the TV, hide the phone, and put away all the other electronics. It's just you, alone with your thoughts. Try to find a place to sit that is quiet and free of distractions.
Let the thoughts come and go like the waves in the ocean. There is no need to make judgments, just acknowledge the thoughts and set them free.
There are many different forms of meditation, but for the sake of keeping this simple, I will only mention two. I choose either focused-attention or open-monitoring techniques when I sit.
Focused-attention is when you focus on something specific during your meditation. The most common thing to focus on is your breath. Sometimes people will focus on a specific object that is present in the room. Focusing helps keep you in the present moment and from getting lost in thought. Whatever you choose to focus on will be your anchor to the present moment.
Open-monitoring is having awareness of both internal and external cues. It's basically awareness of your body and your surroundings. There is a little more freedom with this technique. You are the observer. Without making judgement, you are aware of everything that is happening around you, and within.
You can give both of these a try, or you can do further research and find other techniques that interest you. It doesn't really matter which technique you use. All that matters is that you put in a minimum of 10 minutes a day. I find that I am able to stay more focused in the present moment with the focused-attention meditation, while creative thoughts tend to come to me when I do open-monitoring. Ultimately, find what works for you.
I recommend downloading an app that has a meditation timer and keeps track of your sessions. I like Insight Timer but you have other choices. If you choose the Insight Timer, feel free to add me as a friend and maybe we can meditate together sometime. Superheroes are always more powerful when they unite!
I'll leave you with the benefits of meditation.
Lower incidence of heart attack, stroke, and death
Increases creativity and enhances memory
Decreases stress, anxiety, and pain
Improves ability to focus and block out distractions
Strengthens our ability to relate to others
Reduces blood pressure and inflammation
Diminishes fatigue and improves perception of physical health
Boosts the immune system
As superheroes, there is no doubt that we must be mentally strong and focused. So take those 10 minutes a day and start gaining the benefits now. If you want to take your superhero training to the next level, join the league of fitness superheros. Apply now!