In mid-March, our world as we knew it changed. After the first few weeks of utter shock, many of us started to recoil from the news and turned to social media and our communities. The Zoom stock skyrocketed, as did meditation app downloads.
It showed us that in times of crisis we do two things:
- We connect with our friends and family to show love and seek support
- We connect with our minds for calm and strength
Meditation apps may have grown in popularity in recent months, but it was a part of my life growing up in India. Meditation was not related to productivity or work-life balance. It was how my family lived. Mindfully. Present in the moment. Joyful. Thankful.
Now in both eastern and western worlds, lives have become busier. Gadgets, career goals, targets have swept us up to new levels of frenzied living. Insomnia has been impacting many for months, years even. And we are all wanting to catch a break. From Ellen, to Oprah to the CEOs of largest of tech companies, all are practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is needed to practice Meditation. And Self-awareness is needed to desire mindfulness.
The busier my life gets, the more I find myself leaning on the principles of mindfulness and yoga. Without even realizing, I may make a switch from my external busy state to an internal calm state to regain balance. It is my personal space. My mind’s pantry door, minus the Twizzlers. This is how I seek the strength and resilience to brave the day’s challenges.
Meditation is the practice that teaches us how to switch our awareness from an external state to go in-wards, so that we can reach our higher self.
As mothers, we are nurturers. Nurturing takes acceptance, resilience, strength and patience. These are all the qualities of our higher self. I have personally found the benefits of meditation extremely helpful as I apply them to my life as a parent first, then as the head of Nested Bean.
4 reasons meditation is good for you
Science has shown that meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety, lengthens attention spans, improves sleep, and can even help improve your memory and lower your blood sugar. But the true benefits of meditation reach far beyond your physical health.
1. Meditation give us Perspective
It grants us the space between our busy mind and the challenges we face so that we our rational sense can prevail. We sort, size and prioritize problems better when we take a step back and distance ourselves from them.
2. Perspective bring us Calm
As we rationalize, we gain control of any situation. This restores calm even if we haven’t solved the problem yet.
3. A calm state of mind spurs Creativity
Our higher self is abundantly creative. Creativity is a key ingredient to solving problems, however big or small.
4. Creative solutions give us Hope and Strength
When we have either applied creativity to a problem or used it to develop a new idea, we find the hope to move forward and strength to endure the short-lived present.
A few years ago, I was at a seminar with a roomful of women and men founders who had come there to learn how they could bring calm in their busy lives. We all wanted to make our lives less busy, fuller and more productive. But as a parent, I knew those lessons could be leveraged by our family members too.
“When is the right time to teach children how to meditate?”, someone asked the presenter. Without giving it a second’s thought he said, “As early as you can”. After a pause he calmly added, “Because it’s a way of life. It’s not something you teach for 5 or 10 minutes a day”.
Meditation is like any good habit we want to develop. Difficult at first, but as we see its benefits change our lives and of those we love for the better, it becomes a lifestyle.
At home I practice meditation without any apps. I rely on rhythmic breathing practices. Controlled breathing or ‘Pranayam’ has been preached for centuries in yoga to promote concentration and improve vitality. Science has proven that it reduces stress, increases alertness and boosts immune system.
As my children see me practice it daily, when I ask them to join me, they don’t find the idea foreign.
If you have wanted to practice meditation, these strange times we are finding ourselves in, may be a good time to start. I welcome any of your questions and would love to help you get started or get past the initial hurdles. You can leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get to as many as I can and share any helpful answers here for others to see.