When you think of healing, what comes to mind? First aid? Chicken soup? Neosporin? Me too, but healing can happen in the mind as well. Although many people don’t think about it as much as they should it is important make an effort to be mentally healthy as well as physically healthy.
One great way to maintain a healthy state of mind is meditation. There are many forms of meditation and many people don’t know they can meditate while doing something else they enjoy. At the center of the activity it is about focusing on something fully and finding a way to not take your mind away from it.
One way that I meditate involves weight training. Counting my cadence during repetitions is a form of meditation. Counting five seconds up and five seconds down, during free weight dumbbell bench presses for example is a great way to zone in on one thing. I focus on my breathing and the air coming in and out of my body. I focus on my muscles contracting and nothing else.
Before I sleep I find it very relaxing to stretch. Going through a quick routine while focusing on my breathing and muscles relaxing allows my mind time to focus on just that and nothing else. I like to start by rolling out my neck, then shoulders and stretching my arms. I’ll stretch out my back and then make sure I do a few stretches for my legs. I always sleep better when I take time to focus on a good stretch and count the time for each stretch.
I’ve also taken to doing a set of breathing exercises before bed after stretching. I am working towards being able to take a breath in for a full minute and then exhale for a full minute but have some work to do. I’m only at about 30 seconds in and 30 seconds out but will continue to work towards my goal of 1 minute. I find this calms me down and forces me to focus on that one task.
In today’s world we are often bogged down by constant input. It is important to take time for your self and let the complexities of the modern day take a side step, even if only for a moment. How do you heal your mind?