Meditation has been around for hundreds of years and is used for a variety of different reasons. While it may be an older practice, there are still a lot of myths that tend to plague the practice. Some feel it’s meant to be a religious practice, while others feel they don’t need to meditate because it’s meant for stressed or anxious people. Those and many other myths simply aren’t the case. Here are a few of the most common myths that come with meditation.
You must “quiet” the mind
A common myth with meditation is that one must “quiet” or “empty” their mind in order to achieve a meditative state. While this can be true to an extent, it doesn’t mean the mind must literally go blank. By trying to empty your mind or stop your thoughts, you may actually end up being counterproductive as these methods can create more stress. Meditation usually involves building on the ability to observe ones’ emotions and thoughts while being able to notice and pause rather than react. This can help develop a wider more compassionate perspective.
One type of meditation
More often than not, people will think of meditation and the first thing that comes to mind is a vision of someone sitting quietly with their legs crossed. Only some forms of meditation tend to play out this way. Meditation comes in so many forms, from Tai Chi which involves meditative movement to something as simple as mindful dishwashing, which can involve paying attention to the feeling of the water and your hand movements. It’s important to remember that people meditate for different reasons, so find the best type of meditation that suits you.
Meditation is difficult
One of the most prevalent meditation myths is that meditation is difficult. This may be rooted in the idea that mediation is an esoteric act which only saints and holy men would partake in. It may also seem difficult because people may try too hard to concentrate, or they may be too attached to results. Having a romantic view of meditation or holding high expectations will likely cause you to struggle. If you want more means to increase your meditative state, there are plenty of techniques that can be taught to you by an experienced teacher as well. A teacher can help you get past roadblocks you may have, and assist you in creating a more wholesome meditative routine.
With meditation being around as long as it has, it’s no wonder there are so many myths about the practice. Don’t let these myths get in the way of achieving the peace of mind you’re looking for. If you’re not sure of something or you want to learn more about meditation, there are countless ways of doing so. Do the research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your meditative practices.
For anyone practicing a more holistic way of living and wanting to incorporate wellness into their everyday lives, the workplace can be a difficult place to do so. But, with the increase of employees wanting a more holistic approach to life, over seventy percent of companies have incorporated wellness programs in their yearly workplace initiatives.
The statistics for implementing a wellness program within a company create a significant decrease in medical costs and an increase in mental health awareness and physical health. But, unfortunately, not all of these programs are proving most effective. Luckily, there are some great, easy ways for employees and employers to improve the wellness of themselves and the work environment.
An easy way to increase the wellness of employees in the workplace is by ensuring the correct air quality and circulation in the office. This can be done by utilizing outdoor spaces in your office, doing regular checks on the air conditioning system and strategically placing indoor plants around the office. Since employees spend a large chunk of their lives indoors within their office walls, it’s essential to keep an elevated level of air quality for both mental and physical health.
The furniture within the workplace is essential to your physical health and wellness. Most employees spend their days sitting and staring at computer screens, so when doing so, offer the right types of desks and chairs that will remove the possibilities of neck and back pain, as well as straining eyes. Chairs should support the back so that you aren’t slumping over and the same goes for the placement of armrests. Desks should also sit so that computer screens are hitting at eye level.
Going right along with office furniture is creating a sense of movement within the office. Since humans are not built to sit for long periods of time, add spaces within the office that will help to get people out of their seats and move. Adding daily walks into your routine will also increase physical activity and get people away from their desks and ultimately reduce stress.
Just a few simple adjustments to the office environment can really increase wellness for your employees. Wellness is essential to a happy and healthy lifestyle, and a great place to start is in the workplace.
In practicing a life of wellness, there are many different ways to be more mindful of how you live your day to day life. One way that creates a more conscious way of living is by incorporating meditation into your daily routine. This is not always the most viable way of doing so as many people are constantly busy and don’t necessarily have the time to sit down and meditate regularly.
Psychiatrists who teach and practice wellness living say there are other ways to be mindful when you don’t have the allotted time to put into meditation each day. Mindfulness touches many aspects of our lives. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can practice mindfulness in your day to day life.
Driving in a big city through rush hour traffic can leave you riddled with anxiety, anger, and impatience. Unfortunately, it’s a large part of most people’s commutes to work during the week. An example of practicing mindful driving is by placing a note in your car as a reminder. This note will trigger you to drive mindfully.
While you’re stuck in traffic, you can focus on the things around you that you wouldn’t normally notice. This also includes the things around you in your car and how you feel while sitting in your car specifically. Think about how you drive and start to drive with a more open and peaceful mind. This can reduce the sense of annoyance you feel when being caught in a situation you can’t control.
Mindful eating is another way to practice daily mindfulness. As humans in this day and age, we are constantly on the move, never stopping to enjoy our surroundings or even sit down and have a proper meal. When you begin to think more about what you are putting in your body, you become mindful when you eat.
Slowing down is a great way to practice mindfulness. Try to relieve yourself of all the distractions such as scrolling through your phone, watching tv, checking your emails, etc. When you remove the distractions, you can focus on your food, how it tastes, how it feels when you chew and swallow, and once you begin to do so, you can start thinking about where the food you are eating comes from.
Mindfulness can come into play in the most basic everyday tasks. It’s easy to incorporate this type of wellness into your life to ensure you are living your life mindfully and keeping yourself in check.
About Aimee Bida
Aimee Bida’s journey into wellness began when she was in design school in NYC and adopted a German Shepherd. Wanting to give her dog the best and fullest life possible, Aimee visited a health food pet store on St. Mark’s Place to get her start. While at the store, she was surrounded by different books and herbs that were entirely foreign to her, and it sparked her curiosity. From there, she dove headfirst into wellness and taught herself about nutrition and health.
Growing up, Aimee lived in a house where food was truly how people expressed and shared their love for one another. Food has always been about community, from how it’s grown to where it’s sourced and the way by which it’s prepared. She’s always loved cooking and baking and has always seen food as a bond she shares with those around her.
Food is also our greatest potential to support our bodies and nourish ourselves on our journey through life, and Aimee Bida sees how far we’ve come from the food the earth provides to sustain us. As she dove deeper into a life focused on wellness, she began expanding her palate to experience different cultures and cuisines and their approaches to wellness and nutrition. She became very curious with Chinese and Japanese styles of cuisine and approaches to health, and since then she’s been devouring as much as she can. She currently maintains a primarily plant-based diet as a result.
When it comes to her career and her lifestyle, Aimee Bida sees overlap in her philosophies. Through marketing, she’s helping people unlock their potential in this world that is stressful, hyperactivated, and overstimulating, but actually doing so is so much more than just increasing productivity. As a whole, we never stop to take a break and think about the way we live, but rather get swept up in the ‘go, go, go’ mentality of society; if we really want to unlock our full potential, however, Aimee knows that sometimes we need to stop and take time for ourselves. She likes to imagine what the world would be like if we all spent a little more time taking care of ourselves to develop more fully. You can’t pour from an empty glass, and people stretch themselves thin trying to do everything for everyone else without taking time to center themselves and relax and reconnect.
In her wellness journey, Aimee Bida takes a truly holistic approach to the concept. She knows that you need to look at all areas of your life to achieve wellness, not just physical strength or mental fortitude. Wellness is giving your body everything that it needs, not just food and water. We need vitamin D from the sun for our bodies, and we need to breathe fresh air and absorb the chemistry happening in nature around us. Wellness also includes bringing rhythm and ritual into your life.
Before she began practicing wellness, Aimee used to feel stress about going to bed and falling asleep, but now, she’s incorporated practices into her day that give her life a rhythm. When Aimee wakes up, she has a routine that she goes through to begin her day, and every night before going to bed, she has another routine before to help her fall asleep. She also incorporates mindfulness and meditation into her life to keep her balanced and centered. Wellness is a journey, and the more Aimee practices it, the more she learns and grows.
On top of grounding yourself, Aimee Bida also knows that wellness means incorporating stress into your life, too. However, stress can come in different forms: unlike the stress that comes from societal pressure and the world around us, healthy stress, like the strain we put on our bodies when we run and work out is healthy and necessary for your body. We need to walk and hike and incorporate movement into our lives every day, and there’s no place better to do so than out in nature.
For more on Aimee and her tips and thoughts on wellness, check out her blog!