As an anxious person, who has difficulty relaxing, so this challenge was, well, a challenge for me! My mind definitely wondered and I continually had to remember to bring myself back. I tried counting, but the point is to clear your mind so I didn't think counting was a good idea either! I generally found that, by the end of the 5 minutes, I was a bit more relaxed than when I started so that was a plus! I think I need to keep meditating, and maybe for longer, to really get into a rythm where I'm able to forget my surroundings!
Above & Beyond Wildcard Challenge
Meditate 5 minutes/day for 5 days.
Meditation Makes Your Brain Bendy
For much of the last century, scientists believed that the brain essentially stopped changing after childhood. But it turns out that sustained meditation leads to something called neuroplasticity, which is defined as the brain's ability to change, structurally and functionally, on the basis of environmental input.
Meditation can improve your concentration, make you less reactive to things which happen to you, improve your health, and help you understand yourself better. These days, scientists say that daily meditation is the best thing you can do for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Think of it as flossing and brushing for your spirit! Of course, as a bird with a beak, I don't do either of those things. Nor, sadly, do I smooch! No lips!
- Sit up straight - either in a chair or crosslegged on a cushion - and set a timer for 5 minutes.
- Let your gaze be soft and fuzzy.
- Focus your attention on your breath.
- Your mind is going to wander and you're going to get distracted by your thoughts. That's perfectly normal!
- Every time your mind wanders, just bring your attention back to your breath.
- You don't have to go anywhere else mentally or clear your mind of thoughts. Just watch your breath, and bring your mind back when it wanders.
- Don't worry about getting it "right." Just sit and breathe.
- Do this every day for 5 days and let us know how it goes. Remember, there's no way to do it wrong other than to not do it!
This kind of meditation not your style?
If there is another meditation technique you prefer, such as walking meditation, gazing at a candle, closing your eyes, listening to music, or repeating a mantra, feel free to go ahead and do that.
A couple great books on meditation:
10% Happier by Dan Harris
Dan Harris talking about his book 10% Happier.
Pema Chödrön: Smile at Fear - Living From The Heart