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Meditation - exercise for the mind

All the posts last week on Mental Health Awareness inevitably got me musing over the matter. I think overall health/wellbeing is the combination of mental, physical, and social health. I’d say the body and the mind are different sides of the same coin - they’re the way the conscious self observes, interprets, and navigates itself through life/the universe. A healthy body is one that runs efficiently. Through a focus on the physical I can observe how the body responds and develops in relation to its experiences, and so seek to purify and strengthen it. The same should therefore apply to the mind; thus I also need to be able to do the same for that. It’s only by paying attention to the movements of the mind that I can identify its ‘weaknesses’ and seek to purify and strengthen it to make it run more efficiently. If I’m not taking time to listen to my body and to exercise it then I can’t expect it to be healthy. The same has to be true for the mind – if I’m constantly allowing myself to be distracted by work, Whatsapp, mindless social media scrolling, etc and denying myself the time to listen to the mind then how can I expect it to be healthy? For me I’m finding the best way to do this is through seated meditation. By withdrawing from the distractions of the senses, finding stillness and silence of the body, I can start to listen to the chatter of the mind. However, sometimes I can become lost within it, so I’ve found regular journaling a fantastic tool to keep me grounded in reality. I write a page each morning as the first thing I do after I wake up, and at least once a week I’ll just take a pen to paper and write whatever comes to mind, for however long I feel like writing. With the combination of mental and physical wellbeing I can continually look to become a more aware being of consciousness and love.

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