Studies have been performed on experienced meditators showing that meditation affects what yoga practitioners call “the third eye” but it’s actually the insula located deep within the brain. So deep, that parts of the temporal lobe need to be cut away in order to see it. According to my Anatomy & Physiology text book, because of the insula’s location, there is not too much known about this area but it has been said that the insula plays roles in intuition, taste, spoken language, creativity and the senses. Many of these aspects, intuition and creativity, even spoken language in certain cases can improve with regular meditation. The more you do it, the more you realize that that meditation can improve your life in so many ways, however you chose to practice.
If you’re finding yourself frazzled, stressed, dealing with a chaotic, or worse, negative mind, meditation is the best way to clear the bad stuff and bring the good stuff back into your head. Just a few minutes of quiet, focused breathing is all it takes. Physical yoga, being a moving meditation is another way of meditating. It may not be as quiet and maybe a little more distracting than sitting in a comfy chair in your own home but it works and the more you do it, the better you will get at it.
If yoga is not your thing, walking or running is another way to quiet the mind and get in the zone. Also, yoga, running, walking, any physical activity releases endorphins which will make you feel happy, regardless. Writing in a journal is another way to deal with some mind chaos. It gets everything out while you sit quietly and breathe. And sometimes simply a friend willing to listen to you gripe, even though that’s not really a form of meditation, helps to clear the mind too.
Recently I had a great day chock-full of mind-clearing. Yoga class, meditation, a long walk and a good friend to listen to me gripe; pretty much everything I listed above. Along with mediation and yoga, walking is one of my favorite ways to clear the mind. There’s fresh air and nature. Can anyone ask for better? Meditation also helps you to appreciate the little things in life which are most important. We walked home to Brooklyn from Manhattan along the bridge. This was actually a first for me. It was a beautiful day and I couldn’t help getting excited at the beauty of the lower Manhattan skyline, even though I see it every day. By the end, I felt better and my cares and worries were gone by the time I got home. (And cue the sappy family sit-com music.)
Do you have any unique ways of clearing your head when you feel out of sorts? Let me know in the comments. To end, here’s some pictures from our walk across the bridge.