Everyone has a right to a healthy mind. From education to health care, many people face hardships in accessing the care they need to have a healthy mind. You probably never saw any of these challenges coming. This is the time to take inventory by evaluating how these challenges can become your path to conscious change; you can’t leave your mental health up to chance.
A simple practice like meditation will empower you to take care of your mind. It is something that everyone can do. It’s instinctive. You might be surprised to find out that without you knowing about it, you’ve meditated at some point in your life. Anytime you’ve daydreamed or been completely swept up by the moment—from listening to a beautiful piece of music to watching a glorious sunrise—you’ve lost track of time. During that experience, you only had present-moment awareness. Looking back, you were content and deeply satisfied. Your mind is not distracted. Practiced for centuries, meditation provides the same benefits to everyone—it renews the mind, allows you to look at the world from a different lens, and gain a positive perspective.
Change Your Brain, Change Your Perspective
Most people really struggle with changing their perspective. According to Rebecca Gladding, MD, in Psychology Today, a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex (also known as the “me” center), is tied to you and your perspective—including daydreaming. Before meditation, this center is strongly linked to the fear centers in the brain. This helps to explain why when you’re anxious, you also feel trapped. Since this center is working all the time, it only processes your experiences, but also gets stuck; it goes through the same loops. And this explains why it’s so hard to change patterns.
Meditation weakens this link. Another way of looking at it is thoughts such as “I have no choice” or “I don’t know what to do” begin to lose their power. Before meditation, you avoid these thoughts by developing patterns that keep negative feelings out. But if the idea of delving into buried emotions and the shadow side of yourself is unsettling, it is understandable and not advisable to do so without the help of a mental health professional. And as you begin to distance yourself from fear, you naturally become more rational and logical, and have a more balanced perspective. With consistent meditation, the brain starts to rewire itself and other methods become efficacious. The way you perceive the world and yourself begin to shift. It makes it easier to change old habits and patterns.
Self-care Is the New Model for Mental Health Care
Have you ever tried to “turn off your brain” but found it nearly impossible with all the thoughts going through your head? If you are like most people, you’ve had days that seemed to never end. When your brain is over-worked, familiar patterns and painful memories return.
You’ve probably noticed one thought often leads to another and yet another. Almost all psychological literature explains that a tiny organ in the brain called the hippocampus plays a big role in indexing and forming new memories about the experiences you’ve had. And identifies that the hippocampus is connected to a small, almond-shaped structure called the amygdala; this tiny piece of the brain is essential to the fear response. It’s no wonder when you experience stress and anxiety, old thoughts also trigger memories.
The brain is constantly changing based on how the mind relates to it. Most of the time, the active mind plans ahead to relieve itself of painful situations. It’s nearly impossible to solve issues from a tired, exhausted, or pessimistic mind. To truly solve problems, a renewed and fresh perspective is required. Yet, there’s something scary about sitting with yourself; it has the same effect as facing your intimidating stranger in a dark alleyway. On the other hand, if overreliance on the active mind continues, it’s only a matter of time before depression and anxiety set in.
The good news is you can start with a few minutes of meditation each day. In time, you’ll begin to notice that unwanted thoughts start to drop off. You begin to get in touch with a space of stillness. This is the place of peace and rest—without the burden of the inner critic and self-judgment. It’s a sanctuary for yourself.
Meditation Is a Key to Your Evolution
If you’ve been searching to quiet the inner noise and make some space in your head so you can think clearly and evolve from old habits, then start a meditation practice. It is much easier than you might think. Over a bit of time, you’ll start to notice that meditation calms the mind, dissolves stress, and reconnects you to yourself in ways that empower you to make choices that support your intentions. When you think clearly and optimistically, things start to change. You begin to live life on your terms and realize the importance of self-care. You are able to turn down the inner critic and tune into your inner voice to connect with your mind-body-soul.
Remember: Everyone has the right to a healthy mind. From seeking a professional counselor to practicing meditation, once you realize it’s your birthright, you begin to make choices that support caring for your mind, transformation, and well-being.
Healing your mind means renewing it. Each moment gives your mind the opportunity to reset. Simply taking a pause for a couple of minutes can allow your mind to become aware of your surroundings and reconnect to you. As you become aware of the power of your mind, you begin to realize the powerful nature within you that is ever-renewing and evolving.
Isn’t it time to make meditation part of caring for your mind?
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.