Meditation has been around for thousands of years and yet, in many ways, it seems that it is most needed now. In a time where we often feel overwhelmed by all the “noise” and everything we have to do and accomplish, we forget to be in the moment, and to sit still and be silent. Meditation is just that. The opposite of noisy and being in constant motion. Meditation is said to have a hugely positive effect on mental health and reduce anxiety. It can help you by focusing your attention on one thing, to ensure you can achieve clarity of mind.
The Doing vs. the Being
Why is it so challenging to put a few minutes aside to sit still and simply catch our breath? Do we feel we have to do something every minute, every second to feel alive or to believe that we are succeeding at life?
In fact, today, the concept of doing is playing a much bigger role than being. Generation Panic’ers live fast lives as good ‘doers’, yet the irony is that we are known as ‘human beings’ – not ‘human doings’!
There are two distinct ways of operating: the doing and the being. In meditation, or even when being mindful, we are letting ourselves be. Our minds do not wander and worry about the past or future, we are just in the moment – second by second, minute by minute.
Mindfulness in itself, or alongside meditation, can teach us to slow down. We learn to observe what is happening around us, and therefore, we can begin to enjoy the moment, rather than becoming caught up in our anxiety. And that is to be alive. As our senses become aware of our surroundings – we notice what is happening outside of ourselves. The you is separatedfrom what is happening to you. Finding that space can offer freedom and relief, as we can differentiate our thoughts from reality. Realising this can make us feel calmer and less anxious.
Your sweet spot
How can you be mindful? There are a few other ways than the traditional meditative lotus position that would fit into the Generation Panic lifestyle, i.e. where it is not required to physically sit still, which can be difficult for a Generation Panic’er!
The trick is to find your sweet spot. Ask yourself when or where do you manage to relax and find peace in a given moment. It can be by immersing yourself in a good book, taking exercise, listening to music or taking a walk in nature. Experiment what feels good for you. In particular, for me, I find calmness sitting by a river in a park near where I live. It can still my mind and I hear my thoughts again. Sometimes an app can help, as it ensures that I “keep to time”. Therefore, even if I am struggling to feel calm and control my breathing, just blocking out the time (and having to stick to it) from the app helps.
Brainstorm some ideas that might work for you and try them out.