Like any practice, meditation is just that, a practice and a discipline! Our bodies, minds and souls are soothed by practicing meditation, and conversely, they suffer in the absence of that calm.
One of the many wonderful things about our bodies is their reliability. Our bodies tell a story, like a physical map of our internal workings. Your body is quick and consistent in expressing its needs; it just takes some practice to listen. Because we are all unique, there are many ways your body might tell you it’s time to meditate, but here are a few common signs.
1. Your Body is Full of Aches and Pains.
Our minds are closely connected to our bodies, so often physical pain is simply your body trying to capture your attention. It’s been one of those days. Okay, maybe one of those weeks. It feels like a constant flow of new pains or aches erupting in your body. Perhaps this is a call for a much-needed recharge. Take a minute to slow down and pay attention to the aches. Take comfort in your meditation practice – your body will thank you.
2. Your Mind is Overflowing with Negativity.
Having one of those days where you keep stubbing the same toe? Most of us have experienced the wrath of negativity; it has a powerful, contagious energy. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when your mind is fogged with a negative cloud, so rather than fight back, try a different approach. Recognize that your body and mind might be simply missing that sweet stillness that meditation once gave you in your daily routine.
3. You Feel Exhausted.
Increased energy is one of the many benefits of meditation, and usually one of the first benefits that regular meditators notice. The dense network of oxygen-carrying blood vessels in our brain makes it super sensitive to decreases in oxygenation – that is, the less oxygen your brain gets, the more tired you feel.
If you find yourself feeling lethargic or uninterested during the day, think of it as your brain asking for oxygen. Luckily the treatment is easy and only requires a few slow, deep breaths. Breathe in, breathe out.
4. You Feel Distracted and Overwhelmed.
In today’s chaotic world, we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements and messages creating false illusions of beauty and success. Electronics have slowly begun to rob us of our ability to focus on one task at a time. It’s no wonder many of us feel distracted throughout the day.
Another way this sign may manifest physically is a feeling of restlessness. Perhaps you feel antsy or can’t get comfortable in your chair. This is definitely an indicator that it’s time to close your computer, close your eyes, and breathe for a few minutes. Meditation can quickly restore clarity and focus.
5. You Feel Anxious.
Anxiety is a telltale sign that your body, mind, and soul could use a little meditation. Anxiety comes in so many forms and is unique to each person. Even if you don’t frequently suffer from anxiety, it’s still very possible for you to feel anxious in everyday life.
For me it feels like butterflies in my chest and irritability. I take this as a distress signal from my body to calm down. Maybe my mind is running wild with scenarios or perhaps I have an upcoming deadline at work. Whatever it is, meditation is a natural therapy that’s accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
By now you know the science: the evidence of the powerful benefits of meditation is immense. But for us busy humans, sometimes finding even 15 minutes of stillness in a day can be a daunting task.
Listen carefully to your body and always remember what a few minutes of breathing can do for you.
Image credit: Lady Dork