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You don't need to look far to find countless articles, studies and research touting the benefits of meditation. It's no longer just a new-agey thing that yogis do, it's been put to the scrutiny of scientists and doctors alike who have discovered it has a profound effect on our bodies and our brain. We're big believers of meditation here at HSFT, and most of us practice some form of meditation on a regular basis. Whether you want to focus your intention on one specific outcome or just release your mind from it's hamster wheel of thoughts and stress, meditation has a big payoff.
It's known to lower stress levels, increase our attention levels, and actually alter the brain by increasing grey matter and specific brain functions. Here's the best part about meditation; it's a powerful tool that is accessible to anyone and it doesn't cost a thing. Start in a comfortable space. Close your eyes. Begin by focusing on your breathing. You don't need to sit there for hours, just start with five minutes. You'll be amazed at how quickly it goes. You can find some very cool resources on line for meditation like this one at UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center where you can download several different guided mediations to get you started.
Forming a new habit can be as challenging as breaking a bad one but a ritual goes one step further. Blogger Daisy from Simplicity Relished describes it as this, "Rituals are simply habits imbued with meaning..." The beautiful thing about infusing rituals into our life is how they give us a go-to familiarity that is like a rhythmic touchstone in our day. Maybe you already have a ritual; morning mediation, 3-mile run, prayer, journaling time at night, a walk in nature. Whether you know it or not, you may have already carved out your own, but a ritual is personal and it's something you do for you.
"So...you think about the things you are grateful for, and the people that you love, and the things you need to do in a day to thrive..." - HSFT Founder Stephanie Taormina on her daily ritual.
HSFT founder Stephanie Taormina talked about her own daily rituals that help to keep her centered and grounded in her busy life in a recent HSFT vlog episode on HSFT's YouTube Channel. "It's always good every morning to take some time before you start your day. I like to do my runes, they're really amazing. They are these very old Viking symbols and they are these little discs have symbols on them. So every morning I like to come here and say thanks and regroup my thoughts and my goals. So you kinda think about the things you are grateful for, and the people that you love, and the things you need to do in a day to thrive. It's a journey."
There is no shortage of negativity in our world, your own personal world and the great big one we live in. We get bombarded pretty frequently with negative thoughts, actions, events, or even others, in the course of day. It can be overwhelming and difficult not to feel the effects of all those negative vibrations. We're pretty good at filling our own heads with negativity already. And then there's what exists around us every day.
That's when you have to just STOP. Stop the madness and the dance of negativity in your head. Remove negative external influencers. If watching the nightly news upsets you, then stop watching it for a while. If you're spending time with people who have a negative outlook on life, take a break from that energy. START by having SOME FUN TODAY. You're gonna miss the beautiful parts of your life if you keep yourself focused only on the bad stuff. There really is a great, big, beautiful world out there full of pretty amazing people. Choose that world and choose FUN over "The sky is falling!" mentality. Shift one negative thought to a positive and you will add some much needed color to your canvas. And yes, Have Some Fun Today... c'mon, you know you wanna.