When we set aside a little bit of time each day to breathe deeply and meditate, our health and happiness skyrockets.
At a recent BYU Education Week, Hank Smith spoke about the “science of happiness.” He also spoke about the effects of meditation:
“Through MRI technology over the last 10 years, brain scans have become absolutely wonderful. Your frontal lobe is where happiness is located. When someone is really sad, the right side of the frontal lobe lights up. And when someone is happy, the left part of the frontal lobe lights up. Happiness and sadness occur in different places of the brain. Meditation will fire up the left frontal lobe and flood your brain with dopamine.”
There are countless scientific studies and articles about the power and benefits of regular meditation. My purpose today is not to cite source after source, (you can research those on your own), but to inspire you to try meditation and deep breathing for yourself. When we quiet our minds in meditation, and slowly breathe, we release the stresses of the day, we let go of our worries, and we allow ourselves to relax.
There is a stillness that comes from pausing to meditate on a daily basis. And I have found an exponential increase in peace, happiness, and calm since beginning a daily meditation practice. It’s definitely a habit worth cultivating.
When could you find a slice of time to dedicate to mediation and deep breathing? Just before bed? When you rise in the morning? During an afternoon break? A consistent time will provide best results and establish the habit more effectively.
I have tried morning and evening and everything in between, and have found that currently, the most conducive time for me to set aside is in the evening just after I tuck my children into bed. It’s a natural way for me to unwind my day.
Now the question–what to meditate about? Really, there isn’t a right or a wrong way. Whatever comes easily and naturally to you. There are guided meditation podcasts you can download on your phone (and many of them are free!) There are apps you can download as well. I use both of these methods on a nearly daily basis as well as my own personal way. I love to meditate about my Savior’s life, my dreams for the future, the unfolding of a perfect day, gratitude, forgiveness, love, my purpose and missions in life. I often receive very clear personal revelation when I ponder a question that has been on my mind. And sometimes meditation involves clearing your mind completely and simply thinking about nothing.
You decide which method(s) work best for you and the time of day you prefer. And if you endeavor to install this new practice in your life for 30 days, I can promise that your life will drastically change for the better.