Happy November! I couldn't believe that I woke up to snow yesterday in Toronto! It will be easy for me to feel grateful for the warmth & sunshine coming for the rest of the week. I don't think that in all the years I've been writing, that I've done a post on meditation alone - and I can't believe it!!! Meditation is so part of the basic Naturopathic principles! It felt fitting to do a post today today with the American election going on. So here it goes...
I love meditation. It has so many health benefits! I think that it's really important to note that there's no such thing as being bad at meditation - just the process of being observant that thoughts are occurring is helpful in itself. I can't shut my mind off, and when I meditate my mind wanders all over the place. When I notice my mind wandering (which can sometimes take a while!), I try to bring it back to the meditation. To help my cause, I almost always listen to guided meditations - I find it easier when there's a voice to bring my attention back to. I have a new favourite FREE meditation app that a patient introduced me to! It's called Smiling Mind, and it's got a website (https://www.smilingmind.com.au/) and an app, and is made by an Australian non-profit organization. I don't find the voices on the app annoying and I think the Australian accent helps :). I also use or have used Calm, Breathe, 10% Happier (and sometimes listen to their podcast), Headspace (though I find the voices annoying), and Insight Timer.
Studies show that it can: - help alleviate anxiety - help alleviate depression - help reduce the stress response - help regulate Irritable Bowel Syndrome - help reduce pain in fibromyalgia - improve sleep quality - can be effective for pain relief - can reduce blood pressure - and much more!
Last but not least, there's no right or wrong time to meditate. I am for 10 minutes each day and prefer to do it in the afternoon or evening as a reset, but have lots of patients who like to start their day off with a fresh clear mind by meditating in the morning. Anytime is a good time if you ask me! I look forward to hearing about your trials & tribulations with meditation! If you have any questions - please reach out.