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How To Find Your Center

How To Find Your Center

The human mind can be extremely complex, multifaceted and ever-changing, so getting control over the most powerful organ we have at our disposal can be at times frustrating, irritating and desperately difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to ‘find your centre’, i.e. find and focus on your core self, shedding the extraneous of the world and achieving the calm and control we all need.

Without further adieu, here are eight of the best ways to find your center and become the chilled, relaxed person you were meant to be.

1. Just Breathe–You’ll Immediately Feel Better

Yes, I know, we all do it, but let’s be honest: how often do you really take notice of how you breathe? Do it now–take some deep, deep breaths and hold for four beats. Then breathe out for a count of four. See how much calmer and more centered you feel?

Being conscious of how we breathe and what we do can help us be in the moment and take stock of everything, allowing us to find our center much more easily.

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2. Sleep More to Feel Better Tomorrow

As someone who hated sleep with a vengeance as a child, I can honestly say that sleep is awesome. Sleep is amazing.

Therefore, any chance I get, I’m taking naps or going to bed earlier just so I feel more refreshed, happier and more ready to take on the world at my very best. Finding your center is all about your optimal conditions, so go ahead and experiment with your amount of sleep until you find the right amount for you.

3. Organize for Peace of Mind and Efficiency

Organizing stuff has recently become a passion of mine, largely because as a teenager, I lived in a perpetual state of rummaging around piles of crap to actually find the thing I wanted.

I’m not suggesting you all become Martha Stewart and have pristine, perfect rooms and organizational skills–trust me, most days of the week I can barely remember what to do in that moment–but clearing the decks and having a bit of structure in your life can be a boon to helping you find and channel your best self at your core.

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4. Lose Yourself in Music

Finding that perfect song for that perfect moment is something we’ve all experienced at least once and which, believe me, can induce the kind of calm and serenity that you need.

It doesn’t even need to be relaxing music–I’ve used EDM, dance, pop, rock, metal, anything with a great beat, and lost myself in that right beat and right song. Listening to music has made me focus on the real things and given me great motivation and grounding. Go get your beat on, and if you dance while doing it, at least you’re also getting your strut on and burning some calories too!

5. Never Stop Reading

We should never, ever stop reading in my opinion, and people who do are kind of missing out on all the wonderful, amazing, inspiring things to be found in books and articles and magazines and whatever you choose as your medium. Reading also has the fun side effect of ensuring that you’re in the moment–if you’re watching a film, you can easily be checking your phone or replying to a Tweet, but reading means that you have to be in the moment to immerse yourself in that world.

6. Believe in Everything You Can

Never stop believing in stuff. In people, in beliefs, in whatever. The fact is that having hope and a passion and a true belief in something roots you in something solid and it grounds you.

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It doesn’t have to be religion in any way shape or form–faith or belief is a strong bond or emotional resolution in something. Finding your center is about finding those beliefs–such as being kind to others or voting in every election–and cultivating the hell out of them.

7. Look for the Good in All Things

There are good things everywhere as long as you keep looking for them. This is something that is kind of ingrained in us as children, but which we sometimes forget. The media tells us of the horrible, scary world we live in and why we should be afraid of practically everything.

There is so much in the world that is good and worthwhile and worth celebrating that focusing on the good in the world and actively searching for the great and the wonderful can not only center yourself; it can make you appreciate life a hell of a lot more.

8. Meditate Daily to Relax

Meditation, meditation, meditation. It’s something that should be part of anyone and everyone’s repertoire of ways to relax and find themselves some inner peace on a regular basis.

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Finding your center is about letting all the miscellaneous fall away, all the unnecessary parts of our lives that we don’t need in that moment, and just letting our selves, our true selves, emerge through the quiet and serenity that meditating can provide. Plus you can do it anywhere, as long as there’s some quiet and some time.

It may take a while–meditation isn’t a first-time-sure-fire thing, after all–but you’ll eventually find yourself dealing with situations with more and more grace and competence than usual. And that’s something worth investing in, right?

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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