Meditation: The Art of Doing Nothing

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal

There are more distractions than ever in our lives today. Meditation is a non-religious, pressure-free, calming way to isolate yourself from these distractions. The practice of mindfulness meditation is a simple habit to develop with an endless list of benefits. Being present in the moment and cultivating a quiet awareness of your body for a short period each day can help calm the mental noise constantly racing through your mind. It has been shown that people who practice meditation regularly respond more calmly to stressful situations, are more tolerant, less judgmental to others and kinder to themselves. Medical studies have revealed measurable changes in areas of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. Meditation can lead to decreased anxiety, aggression, emotional reactivity and depression along with improved self-awareness, sleep, mood, compassion, memory, relationship satisfaction, self-esteem and focus. The many benefits of this simple practice can be hard to believe until you make it part of your daily routine.

I have struggled with bouts of insomnia since I was a child. There were periods during college where it was debilitating. I have used mindfulness meditation during different parts of my day, including early in the morning in an attempt to bring a calm focus to the start of my day. However, I have found that it has worked best for me at night recently in combating my insomnia. After ten to fifteen minutes practicing along with my Calm app while lying in bed, I have found myself falling asleep with my headphones in sometimes. My triathlon watch has shown that I am receiving more sleep and increased hours of deep sleep each night since starting this routine. Whatever the reason, I believe everyone could benefit from a short meditation session that allows you to calm the mind and be present in the moment each day.

Taking time to focus on your breath, be more aware of your body, attempt to quiet the mental chatter and relax for a short period each day has nearly infinite benefits. Mindfulness meditation does take practice, but it is a habit that has helped me immensely and I believe it could benefit everyone. Whether it is on your own or through an app like Calm or Headspace, I challenge you to set aside ten to fifteen minutes each day for the next month and try to develop this habit. As Tony Robbins once said, “There’s no excuse. If you don’t have ten minutes, you don’t have a life.”

Cheers to dental health,

Dr.Cliff Moore

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