A new piece of mind

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Aging Well

Over the years I have used the term “peace of mind” a great deal as a goal for people to achieve when they are struggling with health issues either with themselves or with their loved ones.  I have worked with services that strived to bring “peace of mind” to people.  I have discovered that we can bring a “peace of mind” to ourselves through a regular practice of mediation.

Oh, I know, many people turn away their thoughts and open up with sarcastic remarks about such things as meditation.  Everyone has a right to his or her opinion.  The proof is in the practice though.  I feel that I am living proof of evidence that although I may not have always labeled meditation as the practice I carried out, I can certainly confirm the fact that if some portion of time is not used to clear the mind and bring about a sense of peace then the negative emotions will grow and grow.

This past year I have experienced the overall busiest 12 months of my life and I can share that during this past year there were times I did not take the time to practice “peace of mind” or anything that brought about mindfulness.  There were times that I felt I could only achieve what I needed to achieve by continuing to have my mind run from one task to another.  This has proven to be an unhealthy and an ineffective practice.  Only when I took the time to clear my mind and focus on what was needed to be achieved could I succeed in a healthy way.

I have learned that meditation can help the thought process to be clearer and that this helps concentration.  When we are not thinking clearly when life throws us a curve ball we are less able to remain calm.  Life changes on a regular basis and if we have not taken the time to clear our minds everyday then we run a very high risk of having negative thoughts take over.  Along with these negative thoughts come judgmental thoughts.  Truly, does anyone feel fulfilled when they are knocking someone else?  We can change that thought pattern.  We can turn that negativity into positive through mindfulness. 

Being mindful helps to focus on the life in front of us, the life we are experiencing right now.  What better way to enjoy life than to truly taste the food we eat, actually be aware of what is going on around us, talk and listen to the person in front of us without judgment, by being present, completely.  How many of us take the time to do nothing for 5 minutes each day or take a couple minutes between tasks to be able to actually complete the task at hand.  Not the tasks, the task, one thing at a time, done well.  This seems impossible to some of you doesn’t it?  It feels impossible to me at times too.  Perhaps some of you cannot achieve this.  To you I would say, try.  Trying can lead to achieving, do not be afraid to let go of the negative thoughts and the negative energies that suck you down.  Deep breaths, focus on nothing (or something) and start a task you need to do.  Do nothing else but that task.  I stayed exceptionally late at work the other night and did just that and I achieved so much.

I cannot say I have it all figured out that is for certain.  I have observations of those around me and learning from those around me I am convinced of the power.  Reading about meditation and mindfulness, attempting the practices and seeing the success and the results when this is not practiced further convince me of the power.  The results that I have observed to be true if we take the time to clear our minds as a practice are: better attention, feeling less stressed and anxious, feeling more creative, having more compassion for those around us, and a better memory.

Apparently research has found there to be more benefits.  There are also a variety of ways people can meditate so I am certain everyone can find what will work for them.  The point is to keep trying because you already know what the “rat race” brings to you.  You may surprise yourself by sharing positive thoughts with those around you.  I know it helps me sleep at night, oh yes, another positive side effect of mindfulness.  Good luck, it is worth it.

If you would like more information please call our Seniors Health Center at 597-7150 or toll free at 1-877-916-7150.


Patricia Harrington is the district manager, senior's health, for the Cumberland Health Authority.



Organizations: Seniors Health Center, Cumberland Health Authority

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