Similar to the monks of Tibet, the staff at Cardiogenix believe in the power of the mind through meditation. We used to think that “Your mind is in your body”. That is, your mind is in your brain and your brain is in your body. But Dr. Oommen, amongst other longevity experts, now believe that “Your body is in your mind”. This means that every aspect of our physical health and susceptibility to illness is mapped in and determined by our perspective and outlook on life. Lots of people underestimate how powerful our minds really are but through numerous meditation stories, we are left to see how incredibly our minds work. Meditation is a way of getting in touch with your soul and spirit; and whether you consider yourself a “spiritual” person or not, meditation has countless physical and mental benefits for your body.
Becoming an expert at meditation does not happen overnight. It takes years of practice, practice and more practice. As genius as Sheldon Cooper (from the television show “the Big Bang Theory”) thinks he is, he too cannot control his body just yet.
The beginning of the meditation process:
The staff at Cardiogenix is very bubbly and outgoing, but we occasionally have our calm times after hours when Dr. Oommen hosts some “Mindfulness Meditation” sessions. Mindfulness Meditation is the focus on our breathing. There are steps to become an expert but it only takes 10 minutes twice a day to start noticing changes.
Our sessions start with all of us lying down on our yoga mats and we dim down the lights. There’s relaxing music playing softly in the background and by now, we are already feeling more peaceful. One of us will read a passage on gratitude to get into a calming state of mind. “Gratitude is a fullness of heart that moves you from limitation and fear to expansion and love.” Just hearing those words helps change our perspective into a more optimistic one and reminds us to pay more attention to our blessings.
We close our eyes and lie flat on our mats and the session begins. Dr. Oommen will sometimes count with us to keep track of our breathing, and other times, he will say phrases such as “inhale the positivity, exhale the negativity” or “inhale the love, exhale the anger”. This is fun and versatile because you can modify these phrases to help you get through a tough time.
We all enjoyed our first session but who knew we’d have so many questions on breathing?! An average person will take 23,040 breaths a day and yet we still have questions! Here’s everything you need to know to become a pro at mindfulness meditation:
The basics are super easy to remember. To start, be in a peaceful and quiet place suitable for meditation. Lie on your back and inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 8. To find out if you’re doing this right, place your finger on your bellybutton; if your stomach rises when you’re inhaling then you’re on the right track! The trick is to breathe from our chests rather than our abdomen. This might be difficult at the beginning, but with time and practice, you will get the hang of it. It’s best to do it with calming music in the background and at this point, let any thoughts that cross your mind stay there.
Next step of meditation:
After weeks of doing this, when you feel comfortable moving on, you might want to try the next step. Now instead of lying down on your back, you can sit cross-legged and with your back straight. Inhaling and exhaling are still for 4 and 8 seconds each, however, this becomes slightly more difficult while sitting. Try to concentrate on the present moment, such as your breathing, your belly rising and falling, etc. If your thoughts start to race, smoothly redirect them back to the present moment. Do not get discouraged if you can’t reach this level right away, it takes time to become fully comfortable with this so just remember, practice makes perfect!
The third and last version of this is doing it standing up or walking. Once you are at this level, you can officially say you’re a pro! Once again, the timing of your inhalations and exhalations are for the same amount of seconds. This is truly life changing because you’ll be able to control your breathing even while at work or even at home cooking!
Some of us were able to change levels easier than others. It is important not to get discouraged if you find this difficult. Practicing daily will eventually get you there and remember that you are doing this for your health.
Benefits of meditation in your daily life:
In North America, most people live a fast-paced life where we find ourselves with very little to no time to relax properly. We try to get home early…but get stuck in traffic. We lie down on the couch to enjoy our favorite show… until the phone rings. We go to bed 15 minutes early…to stare at our phones. We have to keep in mind how precious life is and to enjoy every single moment. It is so important to learn how to manage the stress that will undoubtedly occur in our busy lives. Mediation has been for years, the best way to manage stress and with less stress in your life, the happier you will be.
There are so many benefits both physical and mental that you can gain from practicing mindfulness meditation. Physically, it helps treat heart disease as well as lower blood pressure and lower heart rate. This is so essential because the heart is the most important muscle in our body. You can even think of it as the gym for your heart, because you’re training it to beat at a good rate and monitoring your blood pressure. It is even supportive in reducing chronic pain which decreases everyday suffering for some. Most of us found ourselves sleeping better nights due to these sessions. We woke up with more energy to start our days, and we didn’t wake up as often in the middle of the night.
Mentally, there are numerous benefits to enjoy once you get in the hang of these sessions. Meditation can help fight depression, as well as reduce anxiety and stress. You will find yourself more in control of your thoughts during these sessions which will help you “exhale the negative feelings”. With time, it becomes easier to focus and you can even become more creative. It brings another level of self-awareness to your life because you become more in touch with yourself and your thoughts. With all these advantages, it’s clear that it’s even helpful in improving relationships!
The most important person in your life is YOU! If you take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally, you can now also help your loved ones become the most important person in their lives too.
Join us in our journey to better health through mindfulness meditation! Stay tuned for more interesting Cardiogenix stories!