By: Dr. Mark Pirtle, Stress Illness Specialist
“What you practice you become, what you become has consequences.” – Anonymous
Scientific studies prove that meditation and mindfulness training brings about many positive effects. These include amplified feelings of wellbeing, improved attention, and enhanced proactive and prosocial behavior. Additionally, meditation and mindfulness have been shown to reduce both physical and mental pain, rumination, anxiety, depression, and emotional reactivity and compulsivity. All these reasons argue for a daily practice.
Health and happiness become a reality for those who put enthusiastic effort into a daily self-care practice. Indeed, every wellness goal you aspire to depends on effort and practice. Wouldn’t it be nice if health and happiness took care of themselves? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
The effort we’re talking about here means doing what is necessary to achieve your wellness goals. But, before we mention how to channel your energies, we should name the obstacles you’ll encounter along the way. There are two ways apathy sneaks in and prevents a person from doing what is necessary to accomplishment his or her objectives, they are:
The voice in your head causes you to procrastinate, or you indulge in distractions while meditating?
The voice in your head discourages you, and so don’t start, or, you give up
When these happen, and they will, if you can recall the benefits of your meditation practice, you stand a better chance sticking with your program. You MUST become you own cheerleader! In this way, your thoughts support you, rather than stop you. Orienting towards the benefits causes the two forms of apathy to disappear, and correspondingly, prevents any added stress and disillusionment from arising.
Here are the essential aspects of any daily self-care practice to integrate into your life:
Create and maintain a sacred space in your home
Become a life-long learner: read, research, journal, ask questions, talk about wellness, spirituality, etc.
Engage in formal and informal meditation and mindfulness practices
Enjoy daily movement and exercise
Discover and use healthy self-soothing methods when necessary (mental and physical)
Contribute! Engage in work that improves the lives of others
Stress Illness specialist, meditation teacher, author and filmmaker Dr. Mark Pirtle blends science and meditation practices into a program for stress relief he calls Skillfully Aware®. Dr. Pirtle lectures around the world inspiring audiences with his unique and immediately applicable mind-body approaches to health and happiness.