Your alarm blasts in your ears and you jolt out of a deep sleep. You look at the clock on your nightstand in utter disbelief that your sleep time is over…done… spent.
“But I just lay down!” you protest.
“Ugh—and I have a million things to do today!”
After you slide out from under your warm covers, your feet become positioned to hit the ground—running. As you frantically eject your body from its cocoon, you remind yourself not to forget to pay the mortgage, update your boss on the Social Media campaign, and call Tyler’s teacher.
You bolt to the kitchen, practically tripping over your dog, as you beeline toward your coffee maker. After pouring yourself a large cup of Kona, you savor the first hot sip and reach for your To-Do List. Your eyes dart up and down the daunting list as you quickly scribble several more actions to take.
For many of us, in today’s fast-paced world, chronic rushing is a way of life. Of course, being productive is admirable: however, making a lifestyle out of rushing and hurrying is quite another story.
Chronic “hurrying” becomes problematic
when we feel UNCOMFORTABLE slowing down
& don’t take breaks to RECHARGE.
In your own life, do you find that it’s often difficult to slow down during the day? You may be experiencing the “Inner Pusher/Do-er” part of yourself taking over when you find yourself continuously pushing to get things done. Unfortunately, when this high-achieving part becomes too domineering, it can create stress-related health challenges.
I remember, as a kid, hearing my mother say many times that she hadn’t stopped or sat down all day long. She was a stay-at-home mom who kept the house spotless and so sanitized that you could eat off most any floor. However, my mom paid a high price health-wise for her inability to stop, take some nice deep breaths, and recharge. Her blood pressure stayed extremely high for several years. Unfortunately, medication didn’t solve her health problem.
Being in a chronic state of hurrying or rushing can create high anxiety and bring on fight-or-flight responses. In this hyper-alert state, our minds and bodies make us feel as though saber-toothed tigers are chasing us – releasing stress hormones like adrenalin.
I, too, have a strong Inner Pusher/Do-er part in myself that loves to achieve. In fact, I sometimes tell people that I’m a recovering “Type A” Personality. Thank goodness, back in my college years, I learned how to meditate. As a result, meditation helped balance my strong Inner Pusher/Do-er. And now, I have been a meditator for over two decades and I’m grateful for this peaceful, centering practice.
When I first began meditating and got a taste of some of the benefits, I suggested my mom consider checking it out. As a result of learning to meditate and practicing every day, her high blood pressure went down substantially. My mom’s doctor asked her if anything had changed in her life. She told him the only change was that she was meditating for twenty minutes every day.
Over the last thirty years, more than one thousand studies exploring the effects of meditation have appeared in scientific publications. Brain scans, EEGs, and blood tests are only a few of the scientific research methods used. These studies provide concrete evidence of the physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Several hundred studies confirm that a daily twenty-minute meditation practice improves one’s psychological state and maximizes the ability to perform mentally.
In the stillness of meditation,
we CALM the tensions of our minds & bodies
by learning how to slow down & let go.
In my book, Stress Reduction Journal—Meditate and Journal Your Way to Better Health, I share the following:
Ten Potential Benefits of Meditation (aka: Getting your ZEN ON)
- Lowered blood pressure
- Reduced stress-related diseases (including heart disease)
- Decreased depression
- Lessened physical pain from back injury and arthritis
- Decreased anxiety
- Increased creativity
- Heightened ability to concentrate
- Increased stamina
- Boosted energy levels
- Improved coordination and motor skills
So, if meditating is such a beneficial practice, why aren’t more people doing it? I have heard many people say that finding the TIME to meditate is the biggest challenge. With daily responsibilities that often include kids, spouses, pets, aging parents, and jobs outside the home—meditation can end up the last task on a person’s To-Do List.
The good news is, by breaking the cycle of a continual doing mode—we can gently relax into a being mode that honors the sacredness of the present moment.
By connecting with
QUIET PLACES inside,
we have an opportunity
to reduce our stress levels
What a healthy gift we give our minds and bodies each time we meditate. So, tomorrow morning, consider getting your ZEN ON—before hitting the ground running!