I have friends who meditate and swear by its health and psychological benefits. They say it relieves stress, helps them focus, allows them to get in touch with their creativity, the works.
So why haven’t I meditated? I’ve tried. I’m like Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love” when she goes to the Ashram and tries to silence her mind and can’t. My mind isn’t easily silenced; it bounces around like a ping pong ball, especially when I’m trying to sit quietly and not think.
But now, since I’ve been researching my caregivers book, I’ve discovered that I don’t have to not think! I’ve interviewed four different meditation instructors for the book and – lo and behold – meditation is not as hard as I’ve been making it out to be.
All you really need to do is set aside some time for yourself (the toughest part) and breathe. Sure, you can repeat a mantra to yourself if that’s what floats your boat, or you can just concentrate on the inhale and exhale of your breath. You can even do “mindfulness meditation,” where you notice not only the parts of your body as you let them relax but the thoughts that drift in and out as you sit there.
I’m just a beginner, so I’m not evangelistic about this just yet, but I’m excited about trying something new in the wellness department – anything to stop feeling like a dishrag by the end of the day.