The easiest way for me to guide you into this discussion is from the standpoint of looking back. I was raised learning about physical exercise, eating the right food groups, getting plenty of rest and drinking enough water to optimize our health. Notice I ‘highlight’ the word optimize because this was truly what I as a child of the 70’s and 80’s was taught in school.
The idea was that if you were physically fit, eating well, drinking the right fluids and getting enough sleep all would be well.
Talk of the mind and its health or what it required wasn’t part of my education, my peer group or discussed in my family environment.
Fast forward to 2018 and I wonder have we ventured that much further forward in our awareness of ‘how to optimize our health’ than when I was in school? Is the mind now included in the discussion and the many benefits that you gain from resting the mind?
Why are so many people prepared to prioritize their physical fitness, their diets, the amount of sleep they get and even the amount of water they consume each day but they are not prepared to put in the same effort to rest the mind?
- Perhaps it is simply because they do not understand or do not know the many benefits that comes from giving the mind a ‘rest’ or a ‘pause’ button during the day.
- Perhaps they do not feel like they can add one more thing to their day because they are already busy, time poor and stressed.
- Perhaps they are sleep deprived, running on empty, and juggling too many commitments.
- Perhaps they believe their minds get rest when they sleep and they don’t need to rest their mind during the day.
The reason I am asking this question is really quite simple.
Everyday we are hearing or reading about the rise of mental health issues, anxiety, depression, suicide rates on the increase, long term service leave due to stress, PTSD, lack of resilience, etc…
We are working harder and are more “ON” now in the year 2018 then we have ever been in the history of our world. The remarkable advances in technology have seen the rise of social media from LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook to Instagram, add to that emails, text messages, iPads, Laptops, etc…when do we turn off?
Is there such a thing as having a ‘day off’ anymore?
When do we hit the “pause” button and simply turn our attention inward and rest?
For most people, they would say quite honestly either “never”, or “occasionally if I remember to stop and breathe”.
So what needs to change and how can we empower ourselves to better our health, our lifestyle, and our state of being?
I believe the answer lies in practicing meditation and/or having a mindfulness practice.
Our minds are doing an incredible job for us 24/7 but that doesn’t mean that our minds couldn’t benefit from a ‘time-out’.
Do you take your car in for a service every year or every 5000 km’s? Why do we do that? Is it to make sure that our car doesn’t break down?
Why do we drink water each day?
Why do we try and get some physical exercise each day?
Why do we try and eat healthy foods?
Why do we try to get a good night’s sleep?
So what are you doing to help your mind stay healthy?
Fortunately for you, science has validated the benefits of meditation and that it works.
Sages and wise men/women have been sharing the benefits of meditation for thousands of years and it is my hope that more people will start to engage in the power of quieting the mind and experiencing the benefits.
If you wish to experience more peace and calm, less stress, more balance in your lives, have happier relationships, more time for yourself, increased energy levels, improved sleep and better balance in your life, than I suggest looking into meditation- the missing piece to our awareness of “optimum health”.
You’re worth the effort.
Tami Roos, PhD is a multi-published author and meditation teacher