Being a caregiver makes demands on your body, mind and spirit. Failure to
take care of ourselves results in a failure to be able to care of others.
Caregivers commonly explain that there never seems to be enough time.
Ironically, though, the more we take time to take care of ourselves, the
more time we will have for what we need to do for ourselves and for
others. If you don't believe it, let me suggest you consider an
experiment. Try to consistently apply the things talked about in this
article for two or three months and see what happens. At worst, nothing
will change. At best, you may find everything changes, and life can be
filled with abundance.
Over the last 20 years, extensive research, at Harvard and other
prestigious universities, has shown that only 20 minutes of daily
meditation has dramatic effects on physical health. Meditation has been
shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the occurrence of heart
disease, while it improves the immune system, and enhances physical
response to chronic diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Learning how to meditate on a periodic basis throughout the day is most
effective. Five or ten minutes here or there--or even one-minute
"monastic moments"--can be the most effective way to handle
stresses and time limitations. The key is to learn how to turn the mind
off and tap into the wellspring of limitless time and energy.
1.Find a space where you will be free for a few moments from distraction.
It may need to be when other people in your home are asleep or out of the
house. Make an agreement with yourself that you will try to meditate for a
specific amount of time, at first usually for no longer than 10 minutes.
2.Sit in a comfortable spot. It is better to sit up than lie down. While
sleep is good for you, it is not the same as meditation.
3.Now, simply notice your breath. Don't try to control it or think about
it. Just notice it. Are you breathing? Is it shallow? Is it fast? Is it
punctuated with heavy sighs? That's right. . . whatever it is. . . just
let yourself breathe!
4.If thoughts come into your mind don't try to stop them, just let them
go. See your thoughts as you might look into the sky and see clouds
passing. They come and they go. Thoughts come and go the same way--it is
only for a few moments.
5.Stay focused on the breath going in and out of your body. Just breathe.
In these few moments, all you need to focus on is your breath.
Do this 5-10 minutes a day. Eventually you will be able to expand to
longer periods of time. You may choose to meditate for 10 minutes in the
early part of the day and 10 minutes before you go to bed, or in the
afternoon. There is never a wrong or bad time to meditate.
It sounds very simple and like such small thing. But it is the first step
in a lifelong process that will have a profound impact on your ability to
care for yourself and others. Meditation does take practice, and there is
never a wrong way to do it. As you become more experienced, it gets easier
and easier to find that exhilarating and peace-filled silence.
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