The following is guest blog entry from Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Sheeba Naqvi. Sheeba sees clients in our office on Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with Sheeba, please call our office at (585) 641-7102.
Engaging in up to five minutes of meditation three to five times per day can help us stay mindful of most of our thoughts and actions.
Such routine trains our brain faster to get in touch with self awareness, self care, self discipline and mindful actions. By meditating three to five times for a brief duration throughout the day, it helps us to be aware that we are alive and mindful from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep.
Dr. David Nowell, a clinical Neuropsychologist and an expert in ADHD and brain research, states that just checking in briefly with yourself in between breaks for your goals and purposes is meditation. This brief self-checking also informs us whether we are fully engaged in our tasks. We all know that life is full of struggles. To sensibly handle such situations, mini meditations train us to make ourselves calm to deal with such struggles. The most beautiful element we learn by daily short meditations is to face our life challenges with acceptance and peace. Daily meditations connect us to our soul. By staying connected to our soul, we find our true essence. The true essence of our being is that we are nothing but love and peace. Staying conscious of our true nature also helps us to respond calmly to life issues, which leads us to make sensible short term and long term decisions. This is why the communication between the mind and body must be intertwined. As a result, if one part goes out of balance so does the other. However, if the mind is at peace so will be the physical body. The amazing benefit of daily mini meditations is that they repeatedly connect our mind, body and soul, which simultaneously brings them into balance. Over time, this practice transforms us to live with this balance without any struggle.
Here are some examples of short (one to five minute) meditations we can perform throughout the day:
Early morning gratitude meditation
Being thankful for what we have. Health, family, friends, love, job, home, and other material possessions. Gratitude meditation takes us to our true self— unconditional love. This meditation tames our ego because gratitude and ego cannot exist together.
Taking a deep breath while being aware of what and how much food is on our plates. Be thankful for the nutritious meal that nature has provided to us from a farm to the grocery store to our table. Also being thankful that this nutritious food will heal our bodies.
Afternoon soft eye meditation
Meditating with open eyes to stay at peace in the midst of stress. Simply know that our potential is unlimited. Become aware of our own breath and sit still while focusing on one spot. Take deep breaths by inhaling in and exhaling out.
Night time self-love meditation
Self love and self respect helps us to take care of our minds/bodies and to be aware to respect others as we would like to be respected by them.
Some positive changes that impact our minds/bodies by repeated meditations throughout the day:
Early morning meditation has its own joy and majestic experience. It connects us to our true essence. We wake up at a set time each day to begin our day. Best morning meditation is to become aware of our own breath by slowly inhaling and exhaling. It quickly calms us down. We learn to bring forth our energy with full passion in our daily tasks and stop working when it is time to go to sleep.
Daily meditations help us to eat just enough to satisfy our hunger because we cannot feel the joy of meditation on a full stomach. Repeated meditation trains our minds to take responsibility to nourish our bodies with healthy foods such as greens, fruits, water and more. Consequently, we become the masters of our minsd and learn to stay healthy by eating only when we feel hungry. We no longer crave unhealthy food. Daily meditation helps us to stay away from over/binge/compulsive eating because we become aware of respecting our bodies.
Daily Physical Activity
Because regular meditation helps us train our minds for positive habits, our minds also becomes strong. Since mind and body are inseparable, meditation also helps us take care of our bodies by perceiving them as precious temples. Our mind has the knowledge but our bodies helps us bring that knowledge into action. We prepare healthy meals with our hands. We do many different tasks at work with full energy of mind and body. We take care of our families with warm hugs and kisses. All of these tasks are considered meditations when done by being fully present.We do humanitarian work with passion and energetic bodies. To perform the above tasks, we need to keep our bodies moving. The daily mini meditations become the impetus for taking care of our bodies. We learn to incorporate different kinds of physical activities on a daily basis to keep our bodies fit and supple to live a quality life.
Better Sleep at Night
Daily meditation, such as regular physical activity, helps us get better sleep at night. Any physical activity to keep our bodies fit and healthy is meditation. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, an expert on holistic and integrative medicine, 10-20% of adults suffer with sleep problems. These sleep issues make people feel severely dysfunctional during the day. Dr. Weil has developed a short, powerful sleeping technique called the 4-7-8 breathing technique for people suffering with sleep problems. This technique can be found by visiting this link.
According to Chopra Center for Meditation, scientists gathering data on meditation have found that a consistent practice not only boosts the mind but it also bolsters the body. Studies reveal that meditation can help reverse heart disease, reduce pain and support the immune system, better enabling it to fight disease. The mind-body connection between stress and disease is abundantly apparent, as science is finding that meditation can lower production of the stress hormone cortisol. This means meditators are better able to adapt to stress in their lives and its common physiologic responses, which can include heart disease, osteoporosis, sleep problems, memory impairment, digestive problems, skin conditions and obesity.