We are breathing 24/7, no effort or awareness required, it happens naturally. But we’re missing out on the benefits of deep breathing when we stick to this shallow, automatic breath that takes place naturally.
In the beginning, meditation is actually a very challenging workout for the mind, body and soul. It requires discipline to sit still, turn inward and quiet the constant chatter of the mind. It doesn’t take the same stamina or energy that going to the gym takes but making time for ‘sitting still’ doesn’t seem to offer the big ROI that we get from a spin class or gym weight lifting circuit. Or does it?
Just because the results are not seen outwardly, the benefits to our mind, spirit and wellness are just as valuable (if not more important), especially as we get older and continue to live in a constant state of digital connectedness.
Meditation- even in its shortest form of #Just3DeepBreaths- provides a glow that you see in a calm, relaxed, happy person. We can only control certain things in our lives and attitude is one of those things. We can choose to feel happiness every single day and when we do, it creates a higher vibration; an attractiveness that is felt by those who come in contact with a person who focuses on their mental state of wellness. Meditation is a perfect complement to any fitness routine. Cardio feels great and burns calories while meditation burns stress and releases negativity…in a fraction of the time so you can do both.
Meditation leaves us competing with ourselves on a couple of different levels: finding the time to fit it in and having our worries, thoughts and negative self talk compete when we try to get still and quiet our mind. It’s different than a physical workout yet still very challenging, especially in the beginning practice. The health of our mind, nervous system, mood and level of mental self awareness are all very important and deserve even just a few minutes of focus throughout the day. Deep breath is a game changer!
This year when I was at the Invictus Games, (the competitive sports games for wounded veterans) I was reminded that just because I may meet some veterans that have all their limbs, they may still have experienced deep wounds while in service that aren’t visible. The trauma that they suffer mentally may in fact be even more difficult than dealing with the loss of limb(s). They are at the games to conquer a fear or overcome a mental disability that requires inner body work, breath work, meditation, mental health therapy and so on.
It’s the inner strength that those warriors are focusing on that’s so powerful. It can make us truly happy, emotionally strong, agile, peaceful, mindful, compassionate, flexible and calm. Physical activity is key for our healthy bodies but we need to carve out some time for meditation and deep breathing too. It’s not an either/or situation.
The competition in meditation is only against ourselves and eventually if you add it into your daily routine, you’ll win on so many levels:
The more positive your mindset, the more you can get done and things go more smoothly with an optimistic attitude/mindset.
When we’re sitting still, feeling quiet and our mind takes a break to rejuvenate with some fresh oxygen through deep breaths, it has a medicinal quality on our nervous system. Deep breathing is a healthy addiction that doesn’t require a prescription, it’s legal, free, has zero calories and is impactful with even only a minute spent on it. What more can you ask for?!
Try it now…sit up tall, bring your shoulders down, tilt your chin toward your chest, close your eyes and inhale and exhale deeply and slowly. If you want to add another layer that may help you focus, silently repeat a mantra/word that you want to infuse into your day like joy, gratitude, patience, kindness, success or love.
After a few rounds of deep breath, you truly feel like a winner having taken charge of your mental wellness and people will feel your new inner beauty, I guarantee it!
Tweet me @sandyabrams.
Originally published at medium.com