With the new year, you’ve probably done some assessing as to how you feel physically. Whether you’ve managed to take any steps this month towards a more optimum physique or physical wellbeing, may be predicated on how you are feeling mentally.
How is your self-esteem? Are you able to keep a positive outlook? Feeling confident in general? How is your sleep? Any enlightening dreams? How’s your sex life? Do you have kids? If not, are you happy with that, and if you have offspring, how is your relationship with your child or children? Do you devote as much time to them as you think they need, and what about your needs? You may need that time with them more than you realize. How is your emotional health and are you doing anything to increase your emotional quotient?
Wow, the questions are endless and all worth contemplating but oddly enough, studies have shown that silencing all the questions through a mindful exercise of meditation can actually alleviate that nagging “seasonal affective disorder” and deeper rooted depression.
Meditation, like everything else, improves with daily practice.
And while practice makes perfect there may be more to it than that.
No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000-hour rule of thumb, says, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.” “You have to tweak the system by pushing,” he adds, “allowing for more errors at first as you increase your limits.”
The main predictor of success is deliberate practice – persistent training to which you give your full concentration rather than just your time, often guided by a skilled expert, coach, or mentor. It’s a qualitative difference in how you pay attention, not a quantitative measure of clocking in the hours.
There seems to be a fine line between total focus and the structured approach to letting go of focus and structure through meditation. Regardless, if you want to reap the benefits of meditation, take some coaching and then practice properly as much as possible, as regularly as possible.