“If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air.” ― Nayyirah Waheed
In a fast-paced life that is getting faster by the day, isn't it funny how we complain about chaos but don’t commit the time and energy to calm our minds? We measure the quality of our day by the number of hours we work and whether that work was a failure or success. While there is nothing wrong with producing great work, what’s wrong is trying to work to be busy rather than to be effective. While I just am a college student, at times I do feel the pressure to manage a hundred tasks and end up working long hours in order to do so. But am I being effective and producing work that has quality or am I just overworking myself and creating chaos but not giving myself the time to reset?
A lot of times we reflect the chaos from work into other aspects of life that don’t deserve it.
Sometimes, it’s not our work but day to day events that create this chaos and affect us. By us, I mean our thoughts, emotions, feelings, peace of mind and hence the way we react to them. Have you ever been upset by a certain feeling and hence ruined your peace of mind and your ability to be productive for an entire day or more? I have and not just once but a hundred times.
The other thing I tried to do was to find a solution and in the process, discovered the practice of Meditation. And let me tell you, I am not the person who sits for an hour with legs crossed and chants verses to meditate. I do it using an app called Headspace that has guided meditations that last anywhere between 10-15 minutes.
The point is, I have had a lot of people tell me how they wish they could meditate to be more mindful but just can’t find the time. Well, the solution is to find the time by making time for it. Just for 10 minutes or even 5 to start with. If one is consistent with the practice, our brains can evolve to function better and clearer by removing chaos and increasing focus.
From changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centres of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions, benefits of meditating are immense. A review study last year at Johns Hopkins looked at the relationship between meditation and its ability to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. “A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” says Madhav Goyal, the researcher who led the study. “But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.” Meditation isn’t a magic bullet for depression, as no treatment is, but it’s one of the tools that may help manage symptoms.
So yes, if you have depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing on the task at hand or controlling emotions from taking up metal space, do practice meditation but even if you don’t, still practice it. If you have a few minutes in the morning or evening, rather than turning on your phone or going online, see what happens if you try quieting down your mind, or at least paying attention to your thoughts and letting them go without reacting to them. With time, the art of meditation will only make life easier.