If you are following the entire challenge, by now you are hopefully rehydrating your body while flushing out toxins, getting a good night’s sleep, preventing illness and boosting your metabolism by reducing your sugar and alcohol intake, and you’re well on your way to getting in shape exercising 30 min daily. This week is a bit different. Here at Body Basics we like to focus on total health. Your goal this week will be to meditate 5 min. daily while reflecting on someone or something you are thankful for.
Meditation - a strange concept to some and a refreshment to others. Let’s dive into the definition of meditation to see if it’s as foreign as some may think...
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the act of contemplating or reflecting; continued or extended thought; and/or devout spiritual introspection. This is actually something we do on a daily basis whether it be in the car driving home or as we are lying in bed trying to sleep. Most of our brains are reactionary though—controlled by the things around us. Training our brain to focus on one thing for an extended amount of time without distraction is an art and also quite excellent for our overall health.
There are different types of meditation that may be classified into five categories: Concentration, Reflective Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Heart-Centered Meditation and Creative Meditation. Within these categories stems different forms derived from Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism.
The type of meditation we will focus on this week and for the rest of the challenge will be Reflective Meditation. Reflective meditation is also known as analytical meditation and refers to disciplined thinking. In order to successfully practice reflective meditation, you will need to choose a question, theme, or topic and focus your analysis or reflection upon it. Initially, your thoughts may wander to other topics but then you need to train your mind to come back to the topic in question. As you practice this every day, your mind will be more in control and not wander off.
There are different types of questions or reflective ideas that you can focus on, such as:
- A peaceful or joyous time in your life
- An inspirational or motivational quote or proverb
- A person or an event that you are truly thankful for
- A triumphant time—going back to that feeling of courage, strength, & success
You may be asking “Why?” “Why is meditation relevant to a Health Challenge?” Good question! Meditation improves our emotional well-being, gives us a “super” mind and produces a healthier body. These benefits can be achieved in as little as 5 to 10 minutes of meditation—even less than that in some cases!
- lessens worry, stress and impulsivity
- enhances self-esteem and acceptance
- increases optimism, relaxation and awareness
- helps prevent emotional eating & smoking
- improves mood and emotional intelligence
- Increases mental strength and focus
- Increases memory retention and recall
- Better cognitive skills and creative thinking
- Helps manage ADHD
- Improves immune system and energy level
- Reduces blood pressure
- Lessens inflammatory disorders and asthma
- Lessens premenstrual and menopausal syndrome
Meditation Leads To Gratitude
Interestingly, studies have shown that the state of feeling gratitude during meditation powerfully amplifies its benefits. Gratitude is an interesting concept because it is one of those qualities that people assume you should have but rarely talked about how it can be achieved.
Starting this week we are going to focus on a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness during our meditation or reflective times…. Quiet your mind and your surroundings; then, ask yourself, “Who am I thankful for”? Bring a person to mind. Meditate on ways they have blessed your life; then, express it! “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
This practice will form a habit and will eventually bring about a grateful person in you! “It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude; it’s gratitude that brings us happiness.”
Enjoy meditation. Enjoy gratitude. Enjoy happiness. Enjoy health!
12 Weeks Total Recharge
Our 12 Weeks Total Recharge blog series is dedicated to help bring your body to a place of rejuvenation, a strong and lively place. Each week we will focus on a specific topic and provide key information to help achieve the best YOU. You can use the links below to view the previous and next post in the series or you can view all posts here.
Body Basics offers personal training, group fitness classes (including mobility) and nutrition counseling at our facility in beautiful downtown Boise. Contact us to discuss how we can help achieve your goals for a better you.