The Mindfulness Blog

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Meditation Is Mental Exercise

Most people think of physical exercise when they're talking about working out-- building up their cardio-conditioning or developing muscles that others will admire. But what about exercising the mind?

What are we doing to improve our mental health-- how are we working to strengthen our minds? By worrying? Stressing? Catastrophizing, or otherwise falling prey to the negativity bias that seems to be hard-wired into our DNA? Exercising the body can certainly help to mitigate the effects of those things, but how many of us ever think about also exercising the mind in order to address those kinds of concerns?

Enter meditation*: More specifically, one of at least three kinds of meditation, all of which consist of greater or lesser difficulty, and all of which can help us deal more effectively with mental or emotional challenges like those identified above. Yes, you heard me correctly-- there are at least three different forms of meditation that we can mix and match, to suit our circumstance, or purpose.

Meditative Moments, Led Meditation and Self-Guided Meditation are the three forms of meditation I'm referring to, and I have personally used all three methods, at various times and in different circumstances. I'll write more about them in subsequent postings, later this month, but I wanted to first call attention to the fact that meditation can be flexible, as well as practical-- something that seems to get lost in much of the conversation.

Understanding the finer points of meditation is certainly important, but it is of little consequence if people aren't motivated to give it a try. So, let's take our workouts to a new level-- to a different level than we ever might have imagined.

Instead of adding more weight or more miles, we might consider adding a different kind of challenge to our regimen-- a challenge that can benefit our mental health, as a complement to our physical health.

Let's try mixing in some meditation, to our exercise routine!

*Insight meditation, not Transcendental Meditation


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