SoulCare® Practices

What is meditation?

"My life is so busy right now... I don't know how to slow down." 

Can you relate? 

Chances are high that you have felt the same way before. Maybe you feel that way right now.

This passing thought is a message we should not ignore. A stressful pace of life can negatively impact our physical and mental wellbeing, and we are yearning for relief from the chaos of life. Time will pass at the same speed no matter how much we try to pack into our day. However, how we experience time can be changed. One way is through meditation.

What is mediation?

Meditation, in various forms, has been practiced for thousands of years across diverse cultures, long before recent studies began highlighting its numerous health benefits. It involves training the mind to focus and be present in the moment.

At Paraclete, we define meditation as the intentional slowing of our mind and body and entering into a state of mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to bring focused attention to yourselves and your surroundings calmly and without judgment.

There are a variety of ways to practice meditation. It can be guided or unguided. It can involve movement such as walking or simply sitting still. Other forms of meditation are used in prayer or journaling. It can take one minute or one hour and can be done in groups or alone in silence and solitude.

The diverse ways meditation can be practiced make it an approachable and easily accessible wellness tool to support our whole self— body, soul, and spirit.

The benefits of meditation

Studies have shown that meditation - whether it be through mindfulness or breathing exercises - can lead to a variety of mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. Here are a few ways meditation can improve your overall wellbeing:

  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • boost immune system
  • learning how to be present in the moment
  • improve sleep
  • improve concentration and focus
  • increase feelings of happiness
  • reduce overwhelming feelings or worry
  • increased productivity
  • increased creativity
  • develop a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in your life
  • cultivate feeling of compassion and empathy
  • greater sense of community

Misconceptions about meditation

You may be hesitant to try meditation because you feel it needs to happen a certain way or requires believing a particular worldview. You might think meditation is just sitting cross-legged in silence. The fear of the unknown may keep you from giving it a try. If you feel this way, you are not alone.

You may be hesitant to try meditation because you feel as though you don't have time for it. If you feel overwhelmed by your calendar, it can be difficult to set aside time for things like meditation. What if meditation took no longer than scrolling your most recent social media feed? Meditation does not have to be overly complicated — even mindfully enjoying the taste and smell of a morning cup of coffee or tea rather than gulping down it on the go can bring you into the present moment.

Perhaps one of the more personal reasons you are hesitant to try meditation is because you feel self-conscious. We live in world that pressures us to always be on, so intentionally stopping to embrace silence can be uncomfortable. Like anything new we may try, meditation will also require practice - flexing and strengthening a new muscle. It's important to remember that meditation is a personal practice, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

If you're curious about meditation, try starting with just a few minutes per day and see how it feels. If you feel silly at first, that's okay. Give yourself grace to try something new. You might be surprised at the benefits it can provide!

P.S. We'd love for you to join us for our Monthly Wellness Challenge. This month's challenge is to go on a 10-minute mindful walk. Mindful walking is a form of meditation that is easy to incorporate into your daily rhythm.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! We put together a step-by-step guide for you. Download your free copy here.