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Minding the Mind: Navigating Inner Peace Through Meditation

I started meditating in 2017 when I had my shoulder surgery. I decided that if I couldn't train my body, I would make my mind as strong as possible. It...

I started meditating in 2017 when I had my shoulder surgery. I decided that if I couldn't train my body, I would make my mind as strong as possible. It was a game changer in a way that is hard to put into words. This technique felt illegal because it was so powerful in how my performance and focus increased. Things felt clearer and my purpose was very targeted and focused. I honestly wish I started sooner and it completely changed and enhanced me. 

Meditation has transformed countless lives, offering a sanctuary of peace and heightened awareness in a world often filled with stress and distractions. The practice has evolved into various forms, each offering unique benefits and catering to different needs. As we embark on this first of three mindset blogs, let's explore the profound impact of meditation, the difference between introspective and external perspective meditation, and how you can incorporate this ancient practice into your fitness, health, and wellness routine.

Understanding the Benefits of Meditation

Meditation isn't just a spiritual practice; it's a science-backed approach to enhancing your life. Here are some of its most celebrated benefits:

  1. Stress Reduction:

 At its core, meditation is renowned for its ability to reduce stress. Various studies have consistently shown that regular meditation can significantly decrease stress levels, making it a go-to solution for those seeking tranquility (Healthline)

  1. Overall Well-being 

Beyond stress relief, meditation enhances overall health and well-being, positively impacting both the mind and body. It's a versatile tool that can boost positive emotions, improve immune function, and even slow mental aging (Mayo Clinic, Verywell Mind)

  1. Mental Health 

Meditation's impact on mental health is profound. It can help manage anxiety, depression, and sleep issues while improving memory, focus, and emotional health (Psych Central, Positive Psychology)

Interoceptive vs. Exteroceptive Perspective Meditation

While all meditation aims to foster a sense of peace and awareness, different methods offer varied pathways to this destination.

  1. Interoceptive Meditation 

This practice involves turning your attention inward. By closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing and bodily sensations, you create a space to examine your thoughts and emotions closely (Psychology Today, Inspire Nasal Strips)

 Interoceptive meditation aims to promote personal growth and self-improvement by exploring and understanding one's thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. It's particularly beneficial for those seeking deeper self-awareness and reflection. Thi technique aids in bringing the awareness back within the body and being more in touch with what is happening inside. 

2 .Exteroceptive Perspective Meditation 

 In contrast, external perspective meditation involves opening your awareness to your surroundings. The easiest way to practice this technique would be to sit with your eyes open and focusing on a single object in front of you bringing your focus back over and over to that external object as you breathing goes in and out. Practices like qi gong and tai chi fall under this category, where the movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment. This form of meditation is more about achieving present-moment awareness and connecting with the external world. It's suitable for individuals looking to ground themselves in their environment and those who might find introspection overwhelming. This is perfect for those who might be too much in touch within their own body and struggle to focus on not having enough awareness of what is happening outside themselves. 

Incorporating Meditation into Your Life

Your journey shared in the provided text is a testament to the transformative power of meditation. As you've experienced, even 5-10 minutes of daily meditation can have a significant impact. Focusing on your breath and returning to it whenever distractions arise is a simple yet effective technique. And indeed, numerous apps can guide you through this process, making it accessible to all.

Who Should Practice Which Type of Meditation?

Choosing between Interoceptive vs. Exteroceptive meditation depends on your personal goals and temperament. If you're introspective by nature seeking to go outside your comfort zone with an exteroceptive type of meditation might be where you will get the most bang for your buck. This will aid in enhancing your connection with the world around you and find peace in the present moment. On the other hand, if you find it hard to be in touch within yourself,  interoceptive meditation might be exactly what you need. To learn how to shut down the noise and come back within. If you are not sure which one works best for you, I recommend trying both and sticking to the one that seems to be harder. 

As we've explored, meditation is more than just a practice; it's a journey to a better self. Whether you choose the inward path of introspective meditation or the outward gaze of external perspective meditation, the benefits to your health, well-being, and focus are undeniable. As you begin this three-part series on mindset, remember that meditation isn't just an exercise; it's a lifestyle, one that promises tranquility, insight, and a profound connection with both the self and the world around you.




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