Tag Archives: Meditation

How Medical Problems Can Plague Your Life

HearthMy life is plagued with medical problems and I feel no one understands what I go through. I have problems breathing, bowel issues, and a hearing deficit. I’m only in my twenties. Issues with your health can take a toll on your mental well being and I sympathize with anyone who shares the same concerns. If you are battling a chronic illness, there are things you can do to ease your anxiety and make yourself feel better.

Having to face constant medical issues raises several concerns. One, it creates anxiety when you know that there is something wrong with your body and it seems like no treatment is helping. You grow fearful that you will have to deal with this for the rest of your life. Not only will you be constantly thinking about your health but you be seeing your doctors more often which can affect you financially. Second, you become paranoid that your health can take a turn for the worst. You’re afraid that this illness can lead to a more serious issue and you won’t be able to recover. It causes irrational thoughts and can get you into a depressive state of mind.

Concerns for your health warrants a visit to medical professionals when it becomes overwhelming. When an issue has been plaguing you take the necessary steps to seek out specialists who can assist you. Use resources such as Yelp and your network of friends and family to find the best doctor. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions from professionals in the area who may suggest a different treatment plan than the one you may already be on. We have access to an array of professionals that can remedy our symptoms, but this won’t be possible if you do not take action. Letting the problems persist or failing to make health a priority can have a snowball effect on your mind.

Once you have a plan in place and you are being treated, there are additional things you can do to make you less anxious. Meditation, for example, can be incredibly soothing. By focusing on your breath and clearing your head you become less focused on the symptoms you are experiencing. Allow the meditation to calm your mind.

In addition to meditation, practicing gratitude is essential. By recognizing that you have been given another chance to live life, you can look at things from a more optimistic perspective. Although you are suffering, be mindful that you’ve been given another day to seek help and experience the wonders of this world. You live another day to potentially see a cure or stronger treatments. You must be mindful that with every new day, your chance of curing you illness increases.

Being plagued with symptoms on a regular basis can cause strife in our life. We have to be patient and learn to deal with everything affecting us. Acknowledge that you’ve been given the short end of the stick but don’t let it get you down and affect your mental well being. Staying positive during these hard times can have a huge impact on how you live with your symptoms and potentially one day alleviate it once and for all.

Photo Credit: frankieleon

The Value of Meditation

MeditationI was one of those guys who didn’t care for meditation when it was on the news constantly. I was a skeptic and thought the spirituality behind meditation was all talk and that people were just hyping up a stupid practice. My mindset happened to be: how can sitting still help us in any way at all. Isn’t it just better to go out and do something with our lives rather than meaninglessly sit down and focus on our breath. I held this way of thinking for many years and it was not until a few years ago when I decided to give it a try. The world I lived in was blown away. I hate admitting that I was wrong and my judgment of meditation was inherently unjustified.

Meditation is not about sitting still, in an Indian style pose. You do not have to look like a Buddhist monk to practice this habit and yes it will have a huge effect on your life. Meditation is the practice of being in the moment. By focusing on the here and now, you will be able to learn how to control your thoughts and funnel the negative ones out of your mind. This is important because our thoughts define our actions throughout our day and if you constantly have negative thoughts, it can cloud your judgment and force you to make decisions that you will later regret.

I’d like to visualize our mind as a dirty room, full of clothes everywhere. Imagine that meditation is the act of clearing the room and putting stuff away to where it needs to be. It means that by the end of your meditation practice, you will have a clean room and ready to allow more thoughts and mess to come back into your mind. By not incorporating meditation into your daily routine, the room will overflow and it can lead to negative consequences.

I find that meditation allows me to be more productive and more creative. After meditating for five minutes, I find I am more focused on what I need to do for the day. I feel less stressed and become more aware of my thoughts. If a negative thought enters my mind, I am able to remove it and think more positively. I have the drive and am more willing to take initiative on a project rather than to procrastinate. In addition to a more productive lifestyle, my creativity incredibly sharpens. There is more room to think freely and I don’t feel bogged down by the things I need to do. I find myself more imaginative and have freedom to think. Because of this, the practice of meditation helps musicians; artists, filmmakers, and anyone else in a creative field that often encounter creative blocks.

Meditation is a practice that is undervalued because of the perception of what it is. People don’t want to be judged as a spiritual guru and are scared away from it. But once you get into the practice, even if you start small, you will emerge as a fan. I encourage that those who wish to get started begin by sitting for 2-3 minutes and gradually over time, build up to a solid 20-minute routine. I have yet to get that far but any time dedicated to focusing on your breath and clearing your thoughts will impact you more than you can imagine.

Photo Credit: merwinglittle dea

 

5 Habits To Instill Into Your Morning Routine

RoutineWhen was the last time you stuck to a morning routine? If you have trouble with this question then you might need to change some of your habits and incorporate some routines into your life because it can do wonders for your productivity and well being. Having a routine in the morning stabilizes you. It allows for a sense of direction especially when you feel so frazzled after waking up. The habits that you do in the morning should feel normal after doing it repeatedly, like brushing your teeth. Here are several habits that I incorporate into my morning ritual that helps me out in different ways.

1. Meditate – After waking up in the morning, before looking at my phone and engaging in any part of my day, I take five minutes to meditate. I get out of my bed and sit on my yoga mat and just sit there and try not to think about anything. What I’m hoping from this process is the ability to clear my mind and not worry and panic about what I have to do for the day. Meditating provides me time to focus on myself and make me mindful of the day to come. Granted, I still have difficulty with this and even though five minutes may seem like a short time, it can feel like an eternity when you are sitting still. But do your best and take the time to prepare your mind.

2. Drink warm water – I would go to my refrigerator, even before brushing my teeth, pour myself a mug of water and microwave it for about a minute. If I had lemons, I would chop a piece off and put it in the mug. After waking up, your body is dehydrated and it is crucial to recover from it by drinking water first thing in the morning. You will feel refreshed and revitalized. Although cold water would work as well, I find that it can be shocking to your body. Warm water seems to have more of a soothing and relaxing quality to it. The lemon adds flavor to the taste as well as balances the chemicals in our body. It is also an easy way to add some nutrients early in the morning.

3. Take 5 Minutes to Reflect on Life – As you are drinking your coffee/tea/warm water, go outside in the early morning and just reflect on life. Visualize your day and what you want to accomplish. Plan out in your mind what you hope to get accomplished and just smile. Take the time to enjoy the wonders of the outside world and be present in the moment. Realize that you are alive and that you have been given another chance to live. Be mesmerized by the vastness of this world and just take it all in. In doing this every morning, I gain an appreciation for life and it helps set the tone to my day.

4. Write Your Top 10 Goals In Life – I have a journal by my desk computer. Every morning, regardless if I write the same things over and over again, I list the top 10 goals that I want to achieve in life. The twist though is that I write it in the perspective of already having attained the goals. For example, “I earn six figures; I travel the world; I run a successful business” and so on and so forth. By putting your goals down everyday, you get reminded mentally of what you aim to achieve. It is as if you are playing a trick with your mind and putting all these positive goals out into the universe. Over time, if you continue to do this, your goals change and the things you realize you wanted before, could be vastly different years from now. It is a great way to keep you in check and make you aware of your passion.

5. Write One Sentence About What You Are Grateful For – Finally, this task brings back the concept of gratitude. In either the same journal as your goals in life or a different journal, write down one sentence about what you are grateful for. It can be as simple as “I am grateful to be able to eat” or as specific as you would like. The idea of this habit is to keep you grounded and to constantly make you aware of all the wonderful things you have in life. The fact that you are reading this for example, are indications that you have it better than some people in this world. It’s important to maintain perspective on the wonders of your life and realize how fortunate you are at all times. Eventually you will feel like you have nothing else to be grateful for but I guarantee that the list is endless and you just have to think and dig deep.

These habits have helped me learn more about myself and laid the groundwork to my values. It makes me aware of those around me and those I need to help. It gets me energized for the day and helps me tackle the stresses in our life. Everyone should have a morning routine that they stick to in order to not be frazzled by things to come. We often rush out of our houses in order to make it on time for work but equally as important is the ability to take some time for yourself and to really hone in on your body and spirit in order to become a better individual. Good luck!

Photo Credit: go_nils

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