It’s all about the mind and body connection — training your brain to be more focused and less reactive.
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. It’s an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. Many meditation techniques have a method.
Billie Harris, Owner of Black Hills Mediation, says, “That’s when you would bring in the three requirements … what is your focus (o.k. it’s your breath), a good gentle and kind attention so when you do find that you were drifting, kindly and gently acknowledge the thoughts and come back to your focus and then your willingness to complete the practice.”
Billie says when the mind settles, the body settles and the stress in your nervous system is able to be released. Mediation helps you live more mindfully and is a practice that should be done on a regular basis to reap the most benefits, as living in the moment requires diligence.
Billie says, “There’s a study from Harvard that our mind wanders 47% of the time — we’re only in the here and now 50% of the time. So when we do everyday activities, a lot of times we are just in auto pilot, and we’re just going through the motions. So mindfulness is bringing your attention into the present moment.”
She says to practice with everyday activities — like walking or taking a shower — take a few deep breaths and be present in the moment.
“Mindfulness is to find ways to reduce stress and anxiety in this busy world where we multi-task and we’re overstimulated and really, meditation and mindfulness is really embracing the beauty of mono-tasking.”
If you don’t know where to start, mediation apps would be a good option. Many offer guided meditation — just find one that works for you. Calm and Headspace are a couple of popular apps.
Billie offers guided meditation at Black Hills Meditation as well as workplace wellness sessions.
Billie encourages parents to teach their kids how to live mindfully and focused on the moment rather than getting caught up in the past or future. Practice mediation as a family.
Billie also notes that three key components to reduce stress and anxiety are sleep, meditation and exercise.