Wendy juggles the single parenting of two teenage children, her part-time interior design business, and tries desperately to stick to her exercise routine. She feels frazzled and irritable most of the time. She shies away from connecting with friends as there are simply not enough hours in her day to manage her most immediate commitments. Everyday she wakes up feeling like she is racing to beat the clock.
I suggested to Wendy during the course of one of our meetings that she meditate for a few minutes twice a day, once in the morning and then again before the kids come home from school. I knew this sounded counter-intuitive and yet I thought it needed to be said. Scrambling from one activity to the next and multitasking not only feels daunting, but it is also not particularly productive.
Not surprisingly Wendy felt like sitting still and meditating for a few minutes a day would increase her anxiety about everything she needed to do. Her resistance finally gave way when I told her I thought she would get more done, more effectively and feel better if she incorporated this practice into her everyday life. I encouraged her to meditate for five minutes twice a day as an experiment for the next two weeks.
Meditation is one of the most effective strategies women can learn to slow down and be in the present moment. The research has repeatedly shown that meditating even for brief periods of time helps to: lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, make more efficient use of oxygen, improve concentration, decrease anxiety and depression, heighten sense of well-being, develop mindfulness and awareness.
Meditation also helps with the management of chronic pain, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, menopause, and a wide array of illnesses and diseases. Meditation most importantly develops one’s ability to experience everyday life on a moment to moment basis.
Learning and practicing a simple meditation technique can dramatically improve one’s health across the mind/body health spectrum.
When you have a sense of control over your own physical and psychological states, you become freed up to participate more fully and consciously in your relationships – with friends, partners, colleagues, children.
Meditation contributes to creating more fulfilling and successful relationships. Being mindful and aware, makes it easier to listen, talk, and connect more thoughtfully and authentically. Meditation also helps you to gain compassion and insights into your relationships.
Wendy did indeed practice the meditation. Consistency was not her strong suit, but she did practice at least one a day and noticed feeling calmer, more in control, less angry and more productive. She even managed to fit in a latte with a girlfriend. Pretty good results for less than ten minutes a day of sitting still!
Click here for my prescription on meditation.
Comment back to me. What’s your experience with meditation?