Does your mind wander a lot? This CAN be a good thing as it can be a way of roaming around the world and generating new ideas.
But on a day-to-day basis, recent research suggests that nearly half our waking hours can be spent with a mind that wanders into areas that result in unhappiness. It is intriguing research and underscores the potential value of mindfulness meditation. Click on this sentence to read a fascinating review of the research.
Meditation is very simple–and very difficult. You just sit and breathe. And the more you practice it, the easier it gets. Like exercise, you just have to make time for it. There are many techniques but they revolve mostly around sitting quietly, in a relaxed way, focusing on the breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Focus on the breath and simply allow the thoughts of the mind to arise (the agitation, the distractions, the concerns, the joys) and simply return to thinking about the breath.
Walking and exercising can also be opportunities to meditate. Concentrate on simply being here now…the more you do it, the more the practice becomes a part of your life. And gradually, one’s outlook can shift, relax, and create a greater sense of happiness.
It would be great if this was something we taught from early childhood. Like gym class or art or social studies–a time just to relax and create a happy habit. (Other research shows you have to give it a few months to create a new good habit!)