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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Jill Brown Column - Your Healthy Living: Meditation – I get it!

  • Over seven years ago, I wrote my second “Healthy Living” article. An excerpt taken from that narrative states, “Now, I tackle a topic that even though I am well aware of the scientifically proven health benefits, I have struggled to make it a part of my lifestyle for nearly the past 4 years…meditation.”
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  •     Over seven years ago, I wrote my second “Healthy Living” article.  An excerpt taken from that narrative states, “Now, I tackle a topic that even though I am well aware of the scientifically proven health benefits, I have struggled to make it a part of my lifestyle for nearly the past 4 years…meditation.”     
        Many an article written by me since, has touted the benefits of meditation to help achieve some sort of healthful benefit;  from battling depression, realizing your dreams, to lowering you blood pressure.     
        But have I faithfully put my own practice to work?  Well, almost.   Do I get why meditation is truly so great for me?  I really think so….finally.   
        How ironic the answer came to me while meditating.  OK, attempting to meditate.  I was doing my usual reflection “gig”,  sitting quietly in a chair outside, trying to calm the thoughts pounding in and out of my head when it all just dawned on me.  I have seen the scientific rationale behind what I am about to attempt to explain; but never have I been able to really put it in terms I could get my arms around until that moment… but here it is.   
        It is a different, typically always untapped, place for my brain to be.  That’s it, period; plain and simple.  It is the equivalent to pausing for a moment, when you are doing a physically hard job, to rest your muscles and catch your breath. Meditation provides a rest period to the millions of cells that are zapping crazily with electricity and chemicals that make up your thoughts and being.     
        Imagine moving your arm over and over from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep at night.  The muscles would simply fatigue.  The movement cannot sustain.   Apply that simple concept to your brain.  By having your brain go rapidly every waking minute in day to day activities; including even those times it is “stagnantly” working, like while you watch TV; it just has to tire.     
        You may argue that a good night’s sleep is the answer to that daily brain drain.  But is it?  While critical for good health it isn’t the entire answer.     
        Here is where science steps in.  A body of research grows on the impact of meditation and those delta, theta, alpha and beta brain waves.  My conclusion in “Jill terms” is; certain brain waves are more present during sleep; so I don’t feel 100% of the brain is really rested from just sleep.  Wakeful meditation taps into a complete different brain wave system, and probably areas of the brain not impacted by sleep, a system only touched during meditation that allows those special channels to rest, strengthen and regrow.  Thoughts will inevitably become clearer, our memory improve, intuition abound and calm insightfulness build.    
    Page 2 of 2 -     While I enjoy moving and getting things done; I am forced to be mindful that life is not just a race to our final day of death.  We must slow down, learn to be in the moment and use all the tools we can muster to stay as well as we can be.     
        So really give it a shot if you are new to meditation. Sit calmly, try for 15 minutes a day to start, close your eyes and breathe.  Think of nothing.  When your thoughts race off, just center yourself back and feel your life giving breath, friends.      
        I hope it doesn’t take you 11 years to get into the swing of meditation like me, but hey, better late than never.   I wish you healthy living.
        
       

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