I'm a big fan of taking the time to meditate, all great leaders have used meditation in one way or another over the years.
These days with technology available to us like wearable EEG devices that measure your brainwaves we really have no excuse.
Over the years I've tried meditating in different ways. I've done the stare at the candle method, the say your name method, the focus on your breath method, the mantra method, extreme meditation where people run around the room and blow whistles etc basically you name it and I've probably done it.
And I'm sure to some degree they were all a bit effective - the problem is that I didn't know how effective and without results it's challenging to compare and improve.
Just because you sit for 5 minutes with your eyes closed does not mean you are meditating!
Which is why I bought myself a Muse Meditation Headband.
I love muse so much I became an Ambassador for them and I recommend it all my therapy clients and they love me back and let me offer a discount!
Meditation is proven to shrink the part of your brain responsible for fight or flight stress response and strengthen the part of your brain that makes decisions - who doesn't want some of that!
We all have tens of thousands of thoughts in a day and sometimes our lives become ruled by our thoughts without us even realising.
Often those thoughts aren't of a productive nature and as a result our mood is not quite as joyful as one might hope!
Before you know it, it's the end of the day, you've achieved next to nothing, said some terrible things to yourself in the process and you're exhausted and you put yourself to bed, often to repeat the same thing the following day.
It's a vicious cycle and it can steal many weeks, months or even years from your life.
Two things that are easy and can break this cycle are feeling grateful and meditating.
Often when we dwell in 'negative emotions' like anger, frustration, guilt, shame, sadness, grief etc it's such a big jump to get to something like joy, happiness or bliss that we often don't even attempt it.
The great thing about gratitude is that it's like a bridge from those 'negative emotions' to "positive emotions".
The reason I put these in inverted commas is because there really is no such thing as positive and negative emotions there are only low vibration and high vibration and all emotions fit onto a scale with Gratitude at the midpoint.
I strongly believe you need to feel an emotion until it no longer requires to be felt. There's a saying that says unexpressed emotions may sometimes cause other organs to weep.
This just shows the connection between emotions and our health, which as science improves becomes even more obvious.
The Mayo Clinic uses meditation with their breast cancer patients for improved results and there are meditation retreats available globally that have had profound effects on terminally ill people.
So knowing all this do you think you can find time in your life for a little more meditation and a little less harsh self talk?
Of course you can, what if you could track your results and work out what method of meditating works best for you?
This is why I love my Muse! I've been able to run reports after my sessions that tell me exactly what amount of time was spent in a meditative state and what was spent in an active state.
The other thing I love about Muse is that it gives you a nudge when your mind starts to wander by playing a louder sound than it was before. This allows you to bring your focus back to the breath much faster than figuring out that you're mind has wandered when you're half way down your mental shopping list!
So this means that more of your meditation is actually spent meditating!
Which leads to efficient and effective meditation - who would have thought that was possible.
The other thing I love about it is that it rewards you with bird sound, when you're in the right mediation zone.
Of course if you find that distracting you can turn it off - but it makes me smile so I leave it on!
People who meditate train their brains, a wandering mind is part of the Human Condition but it can lead you to a life of less than you deserve.