Written by Tyler Greenberg of Meditate Life, meditatelife.org
Meditation offers the opportunity to listen to our bodies. Throughout our busy lives, we often forget to take the time and pay attention to how we feel. We can learn so much from our bodies. By taking the time to see what we are feeling, we can make the changes that we need to make in order to feel better. However, it is not always easy to tell what we need to pay attention to.
Sometimes our minds can wander while we meditate. That is why it helps to have specific points to pay attention to while we meditate. My favorites are paying attention to my breath and feet. When I pay attention to my breath, I feel the journey my breath takes on its way in and out. I feel it as it starts in my nose and follow it down my throat. I pay attention to my chest expanding and then contracting. I feel the air going back up my throat and out my nose, into the world. When I pay attention to my feet, I feel the ground beneath them. I pay attention to the pressure on them. Sometimes I feel my feet tingle as they relax. I find that when I can pay attention to these specific points, my focus stays on meditating.
As I focus, I bring my attention to different points in the body. I carry most of my stress in my shoulders. I don’t notice, but throughout the day I slowly get more and more tense. Eventually my neck is so sore that I get a headache. When I remember to pay attention to my body while meditating, I can relax my shoulders and avoid headaches. When I can relax my feet, I can avoid a lot of pain that walking around causes.
Paying attention to our bodies is a great thing to do while meditating. It helps to reduce the physical effects of stress. Next time you meditate, try to pay attention to the stress in your body. Out of all the benefits of meditation, this benefit has had one of the greatest impacts on my life. I am able to get through the day with less stress and pain than before. My headaches are more tolerable and my feet hurt less. I have less back and leg pain. My shoulders are relaxed. I hope that by using this practice you can find as much relief as I did.
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