One of my favorite ways to feed my mind is with meditation.
Don’t get nervous! Meditation is not scary or religious in any way. You don’t have to sit cross-legged, wear a robe, chant and light incense – unless, of course, you want to.
Meditation is simply learning how to focus your breath and quiet your mind. When the mind is quiet you can hear what you need to hear, when you need to hear it.
According to a Harvard Medical School study, people who meditate have more control over alpha rhythm — a brain wave thought to screen out everyday distractions, allowing for more important information to be processed.
Meditation is not as hard as it seems, but it does take practice and commitment. If you want to build physical muscles or have a body that is fit and in shape, you have to exercise or train at the gym. And, you can’t just train one day per week, you have to train as often as possible to see the best results.
It’s the same thing with meditation. The more you do it, the better the results.
Once we begin properly feeding our mind, an interesting thing happens; we learn to quiet the external noise and can begin hearing our own inner voice.
That inner voice we hear is our truth, and it’s very powerful. So let’s learn how to access it.
We start by simply learning how to breathe. The brain is the organ that requires the most oxygen for proper functioning. That means breathing is brain food!
So let’s start breathing!
One simple breathing technique is bringing your breath all the way down into your belly, like a baby. If you watch a baby sleeping, you’ll notice they naturally fill up their belly first when they breathe.
As we get older and life scares us, or we become afraid of things, we stop breathing into our belly and the breath lands up into our chest.
If you watch a scary movie, you’ll understand what I mean.
Fear causes us to take a quick shallow breath into the top portion of our chest… “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”
I must’ve had lots of scary things happen in my life because by the time I was 30 years old ALL of my breath was up in my chest. I didn’t have any belly breaths at all. Not one.
I only realized this after I started practicing meditation.
It was a real struggle to bring my breath out of my chest and back down into my belly.
I had to retrain myself everyday for six months to release my bad breathing habits.
Try this simple exercise right now. Take a deep breath and just notice where your breath goes. Is it sitting in your chest? Is it high up in your throat? Or is it relaxing down in your lower abdomen?
Now, place your hands onto your belly (lower abdomen) and focus on drawing your breath down into your belly. Apply a little pressure on your belly and see if your inhale can push your hands away from your body as you draw in that breath.
You may find that your breath naturally wants to stay up in your chest. That’s okay. When you are retraining your physical body to breathe properly it takes time.
By the way, the word, “inspiration” not only means to be mentally stimulated to do or to feel something, but it also means the drawing in of breath.
All life begins with the drawing in of breath. When a baby is born, we slap its butt to get that little cutie pie to breathe and take its first breath of air outside of the water world (the womb).
That human being then continues inhaling and exhaling, for it’s entire life here on the planet. Until finally, it reaches the last exhale, on the way out of this life.
So, it’s imperative we learn to breath properly while we are here in the oxygen/air world, otherwise our days may pass us by filled with fear, and struggling, without clarity of mind.
Start feeding your brain by taking ten simple belly breaths every morning when you wake up.
And, if you’re feeling inspired, start a mediation practice to begin feeding your body and mind on a whole new level.
Bon appétit! http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/06/23/meditations-effects-on-emotion-shown-to-persist/56372.html
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.