life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, June 2, 2016

mindfulness and meditation


Transcendental meditation was a big thing when I was teenager, back in the 70's.  It was an outgrowth of the hippie movement.  Find a guru and chant your mantra.  The mainstream made fun of it...

I always sort of had an interest in meditation, but never really pursued it.  

But now...

In addition to my visits to Planet Fitness, my walks in the park, my "walk at home" DVD's, I've discovered I like yoga.  Not just the physical aspect of it, the stretching and strengthening of muscles and bones, though I do enjoy that a lot.  But the calmness, the quiet appreciation of natural surroundings, the feeling of being at peace...

My interest in yoga leads to an interest in mindful mediation.
Mindfulness, I'm told, is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you're mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad, just to be aware of them. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment, actively being there,  and awakening to experience.  Mindfulness meditation is supposed to help you focus, become more aware of yourself and your surroundings, reduce stress and increase contentment. 

This being the 21st Century, there's an app for that...or rather, several apps to help you develop the habit of meditation.  It takes just a few minutes a day.  Breathe, relax, calm yourself... I've been practicing. 

I think it helps. 

And today...

My Spire will arrive.

Spire is an activity monitor, but with a difference. When you're active, it measures steps and calories.  when you're not moving, however ...  It measures breathing, tells you when you're stressed so you can figure out your stress triggers.   It comes with a CD of guided mindfulness meditations. 

Not that I need another activity tracker, I love my Fitbit Charge HR.  It's a very helpful tool.

But I've been lusting after a Spire for awhile now.

I've known for a long time that psychology is an important factor  when it comes to self improvement, such as breaking a bad habit or losing weight.  What's going on in your head is just as important as what you're putting on your plate.  Maybe more important.  I tend to eat my emotions.  If mindfulness and meditation help me recognize and deal with my emotions, it can't be a bad thing.    Another tool to help me get to goal.

And it was on sale.  Save 30%.  Can't beat that argument.

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