"Don't just do something; sit there!"
- Zen saying
Meditation could change your life if you'd let it.
Mentally speaking, closing your eyes and directing your energy inward focuses your attention on calming the mental chatter that doesn't ever seem to stop. Doing it daily would make you more calm, less reactive, more connected to yourself and more connected to those around you. It can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression, heighten awareness and observation and has even been claimed to help people become more forgiving and less judgmental.
Physically speaking, those who meditate regularly benefit from lowered resting heart rates; lower blood pressure; reduced pain levels and recurring health problems such as migraines; elevated brain function; deeper breathing; better metabolism; and physical growth of the brain which can potential lead to increased intelligence!
So do it! No, seriously! No one says they don't take time to pee when the need to. It's urgent, so we find the time. So is meditating! Set aside five minutes a day. I promise you won't regret it!
Here's a simple meditation to get you started:
Get comfortably seated, with your spine as straight as you can. Sitting on a pillow or blanket can help keep your legs from falling asleep by keeping your legs lower than your hips. Breathe deeply through your nose. Focus on inhaling and filling every last little empty space in your lungs. Exhale slowly as though you are warming the air in front of your face.
Focus your attention on the ground beneath you. Feel every part of the floor or cushion or blanket that is touching any part of your body. Bring your awareness to anything your legs are touching - the parts of your toes that are touching each other; the backs of your legs touching at the crease in your knees; the waistband of your pants. Continue in the way all the way up your body, paying attention to the tiniest of details, like the ways your fingers are touching or the hair on the back of your neck.
As you work up to your head, bring your awareness to your hair, all the way up the back of your head to your forehead and focus your attention on your third eye, which is located in between your eyebrows. Some people might see colors or flashes of light or feel intense feelings here. That is good! Embrace it!
When you have spent a few breaths focusing on your third eye, end with some form of mantra. I have a few that I circulate depending on my mood, but it should be something meaningful to you and that leaves you feeling uplifted. Throughout my pregnancy my favorite mantra was:
I trust my body. I trust my babies. I have faith in the universe.