Refresh Your Mind with a Daily Brain Shower
Do you shower every day? Why?
How do you feel after a hot, refreshing shower?
Showers are wonderful things. I enjoy them daily myself. It always amazes me how a bit of warm water shooting out of a spout can make me feel reborn and revitalized. In fact, during the hot and humid Barcelona summers, I sometimes treat myself to two to three showers per day. Pure heaven!
Imagine, a mere generation ago it was common to bathe only once a week. In my grandmother’s time, it was a monthly event with the whole family sharing the same bath water. The daily shower really is one of the Western world’s modern luxuries.
Once in a while, when I have a hectic morning, I might drop off my kids at school before I have had time to have my shower. Oh, how I hate that feeling! It’s on those days that I try to avoid chitchatting with the other moms, or bumping into one of the kids’ teachers. It’s a funny thing, as I am sure no one would ever even notice, but I just feel like my day hasn’t started properly if I haven’t had my shower. I just feel icky. I’m sure you know what I mean.
Reset Your Mind With a Daily Meditation Practice
You are probably wondering what on earth all this has to do with meditation.
Well, as a meditator for over fifteen years now, I have found that meditation is like my mental “brain-shower.” On the days that I don’t manage to fit in my meditation practice, I just don’t feel right. I tend to lose my mental clarity, my mind feels cloudy and I’m just not on top of my game. When I meditate, it seems to cleanse me of any stress and negativity that has built up from the day before, and I can start afresh. It’s like pressing the reset button.
Meditation gives you mental purity. When you are alert and rested in your mind, you are also more productive, more likely to make good decisions, have better problem-solving skills and are more likely to produce new ideas.
When the brain is relaxed, your brain waves slow down into the alpha and theta state. These states activate your right brain, and this is where your creativity and genius lie. Meditation cleanses your mind (it really is a “mental shower”). Even a short meditation session is enough time to flush out any negative emotions and thoughts that have been building up in your brain throughout the day. Many successful people use meditation to rest, recharge and reset their minds to enable them to take on any new challenges which arise and to keep them at the top of their game.
For example, Oprah Winfrey spoke to the media (actually she’s revealed it many times) about the profound effect meditation has had on her life: “The one thing I want to continue to do is to center myself every day and make that a practice for myself, because I am one thousand percent better when I do.”
Even right now you can close your eyes for the next three minutes and put 100% of your attention on your breath. Just notice the sensation of your breath as it enters in through your nose and travels down and fills up your lungs with rejuvenating oxygen. On each new exhale allow any tension or stress to flow out of you. If you can do this, then you can meditate. This will bring you into the present moment, quickly recharge your brain and refresh your mind.
I challenge you to try this three times per day during the next week. Soon you will see how this simple practice is like a wonderful refreshing shower for your brain.
The How's and Why's of Meditation
Silence befalls an ancient temple as rows of robed monks settle themselves, body, and mind. Eyes closed, legs pulled up into a lotus position, the eye of the mind turns inward. For hours they remain; their minds disciplined to ponder like this for long periods of time. This is not a feat for the average person.
Perhaps when people utter the word meditation, this image stirs in the imagination. Indeed, meditation has been a part of spiritual and religious practice for as long as mankind has been recording history. It does take years of steady practice to hold such a state of mind for hours at a time. However, meditation is something that is not only easily accessible to anyone, but you may already be doing it without realizing it.
Meditation simply means to think, contemplate or ponder. Throughout the world, it holds many different names, but the idea is the same: to enter a state of mind where it is easy to focus upon one thing. If you have ever found yourself daydreaming for any length of time, you are meditating. If you found yourself captivated by repetitive motion, the wheels and the sound of a passing train, for example, you were lulled into a meditative state. The same is true when you are reading a book and lose track of the time.
It is perfectly natural for your mind to slip into a trance and let the present moment go. When one intentionally practices meditation they engage in a discipline of training their mind and body. This practice can be applied to many different goals: relaxation, contacting spirits, building energy, enlightenment, self-contemplation, or empty mind, just to name a scant few.