January 10, 2017

New Year, New Mind


 A New Year for many means new beginnings which are assumed to be started with the ever notorious New Year’s resolution. Many people plan on beginning the year with a new gym membership, which quickly becomes a chore for the individual and a great source of income for practically any gym. Many people assume that being healthy is physical fitness and then to forget all the other aspects that go along with a true healthy self.

One part of ourselves that is forgotten often is our spiritual/mental health. In today’s fast paced society it is easy to lose ourselves to our material world. The holiday season is meant to focus on family and what we are thankful for. The focus is sadly shifted for many to the material aspects of this, buying gifts and the incurred debt from gifts. These two points are often the causers of stress as well. Stress in today’s society is the cause of many problems plaguing first world nations. People are not sure how to deal with stress safely and turn to unhealthy and dangerous methods of coping with it.

A time honored method of dealing with stress is meditation. Meditation dates back to around 1500 B.C. from Hindu traditions. Meditation is setting oneself into a mode of consciousness, for realization of something, everything, or nothing. Meditation can be used to cope with things that cannot change, to allow oneself to accept the unchangeable. It can be used to focus on what you can change in the face of the unchangeable. Additionally, it can be used to focus on nothing at all. Clearing one’s mind of the constant stimulation of tweets, texts, Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and the countless other media consumption methods seems a tough task. But upon the blankness and the peace that you experience from clearing your mind with meditation is only matched by a long vacation in an exotic locale.

Meditation is not easy. Many have a hard time shutting the outside world out, some are lucky for it to come naturally. Like all good things, it takes time to learn to meditate. But once someone has learned, it becomes almost like riding a bike. I personally, like to imagine myself sitting on a tropical beach, doing nothing but staring off into the ocean. I also suffer from a busy schedule and meditating gives me a half hour to an hour vacation away from the cold and from everything else in life. Happy New Year’s everyone and I hope you didn’t start your gym membership January 1st.

Written by Michael Dour