GREENWICH, Conn. -- Nadia Fiorita, MSW, is a clinical social worker with Greenwich-based Family Centers. She wrote this article for The Daily Voice.
Meditation has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Yet, today many people are using it as a way to cope with the demands and stress of modern life. It seems to me that people are searching for ways to experience a sense of calmness in the midst of their hectic, demanding lives. I was and am one of those people.
About a year and a half ago, with some encouragement from my older sister, I signed up for a course called Transcendental Meditation. Right away, I had so many different questions and assumptions about what it was and how it worked. But when I learned more about it, I immediately knew it was something I wanted to incorporate into my daily life.
Transcendental Meditation is a very simple meditation technique that is practiced for 20 minutes twice a day. It is a technique that allows the body to naturally dissolve stress. Before beginning my practice, I felt strongly that I wanted to become a more spiritual, emotionally centered person. I really just wanted to feel less stressed and a better sense of control over my emotions. What I got was so much more than that.
For starters, when I first began to meditate regularly, I began sleeping much better and I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day. It was a great feeling to fall asleep without a struggle and feel rested in the mornings. Believe me when I say that I need my sleep. It is better for me and others around me! I also noticed that I felt less sluggish in the afternoons, which was usually a time when I needed a quick caffeine fix.
As I continued to practice, I noticed that the benefits spilled over into other areas of my life. In my professional career, I became more productive, less distracted and experienced a deeper clarity in my thinking. In my personal relationships, I experienced a greater need to be open and connected. As a result, my relationships and friendships are stronger and more authentic. I can honestly say I am much more comfortable just being myself. Because I have experienced such positive changes in my life, I am committed to practicing mediation every day.
Transcendental Meditation isn’t for everyone and it isn’t the only type of meditation out there. There are many different kinds of meditation such as mantra based mindfulness and focused meditation. These techniques are free and simple to learn and practice on a daily basis. It is very important to find one that fits your personal needs and lifestyle because you will be more likely to commit to doing it consistently.
The overall benefits are overwhelming and there is more and more information being published on the positive impacts of mediation and mindfulness on the mind and body.
Serving Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and Westchester County, N.Y., Family Centers is a United Way, New Canaan Community Foundation and Community Fund of Darien partner agency that offers counseling and support programs for children, adults and families. For information, call 203-869-4848 or visit www.familycenters.org.