For this week’s Meditation Monday, I wanted to talk about the ability for meditation to offer new revelations about what is going on in your body and what is going on in your mind.
First, the body. Meditation practice for me often involves focusing on the breath. This can be in different places for different people. For example, some people will focus on their breath as it passes by their nose or mouth. However, I typically focus on the rising and falling of my chest with each breath. And as I focus my mind inward, my meditation often reveals areas of tightness. The most common spot where I am carrying around tightness is in my shoulders, because that is where I carry my anxiety. But because I am so used to doing this, I often don’t notice just how tight those muscles are until I am meditating. And this is just example of the ways that meditation can make you more mindful of what is physically going on in the body.
Of course, being a mental health blog, I am also going to talk about the mind. Sometimes meditation helps you untangle a jumbled mess of thoughts and think more clearly. Other times, it offers completely new revelations. This is what happened to me last week while meditating. Last week I was carrying around a lot of anxiety, but I didn’t know where it was coming from. Even though I have generalized anxiety disorder, I can typically pinpoint a source of my anxiety. Even if the anxiety I am feeling is completely out of proportion to the cause, which is usually the case, I can typically at least identify where it is coming. But every once in a while anxiety comes out of no where. And when that happens, meditation can help reveal the source of the anxiety.
And all these realizations that come out of meditation can have both mental and physical health benefits, which we will talk about in the coming weeks.