Mind Matters: Tips for Keeping Your Brain Focused and Healthy
One thing is for sure, we are living in an uncertain time and it has become easier than ever to get carried away by stress. Whenever you notice yourself feeling overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to meditate and recollect can make a world of difference for keeping your brain focused and healthy. To help you along this path, we’ve written a short list of tips and methods to begin so you can stay healthy and happy at home. Have some fun and get your kids or students involved too!
What is Meditation?
Meditation can really be described as any activity that involves controlling your attention. Mindfulness is about focusing on whatever is happening moment-by-moment without being judgmental. In mindfulness meditation, you actively choose to control where your mind goes.
How Do I Begin?
Meditation can be done in a variety of ways and to any degree of commitment. Many people like apps such as Headspace or Insight Timer or it can be as simple as just focusing on your breathing while continuing your activities.
If you are looking to give it a try, here's some steps to follow to get started:
1. Find a comfortable position to sit in
2. Keep your back upright, maintaining a confident, yet unstrained, posture
3. Gently close your eyes
4. Focus on one part of your breathing (air entering, the diaphragm expanding, etc)
5. Maintain this for anywhere from 5-30 minutes
One of the most important steps towards beginning meditation is being clear about your goal/s and why you are meditating. For example, if you are trying to destress, it might help to focus on your breathing, and if you want to improve your focus, then it is important to track your thoughts while meditating. Regardless of what goal you pick, just going so far as to identify that goal is a tremendous step towards mindfulness.
Stay on Track
Remember, losing focus is a very natural part of meditation, and recognizing when it happens can be extremely important in your mental development. If at any point you notice that your attention has drifted from your goal, just take a moment to acknowledge what happened, then consciously return to focusing on your goal.
Recollect and Resume
When you’re ready to end your practice it’s a good idea to take a moment to acknowledge the time you have just spent cultivating calm and attention. You might try ending with a silent affirmation and intention such as, “I am peaceful and calm. Let me bring this into my life.”
Try doing these practices daily and you’ll soon reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation in all areas of your life.
Remember, breathe and smile. We will all get through this together!