Meditation: Gym for the mind

The past 4 years right after I graduated from university had been very bountiful because I learnt and discovered many new things, especially those that worked well and best suits me. I work in the healthcare industry and my workplace setting allows me to meet many sick and the elderly and therefore, I cherish my health very much. 

Health although very valuable, not everyone views it similarly. Some people don’t value it, don’t have the knowledge or simply can’t afford. This is a very personal and individual opinion, but many only come to learn of its importance when they are frail or when something unpleasant happens to their loved ones. Health-related issues, can be partly genetics but I feel that it too can be a accumulation of lifestyle habits. A painful and expensive root canal issue, may had been from a small tooth decay due to the lack of proper dental habits over a long period of time.

Just like any other industries, work can be challenging at times due to unexpected and heavy workloads. Sometimes, even when you have prepared yourself for months and feel very ready to face the issue, a totally different situation is presented. I was introduced to meditation right in my first year of working, from a friend who thought that anyone can benefit from a little meditation to relieve work stress. Mental health is often neglected and they can lead to more major issues like depression and anxiety! I wasn’t very aware of mental health till I started working in the hospital. Through the new meditation app (Headspace) that he introduced which was gaining popularity back then, it made me a calmer and more compassionate person. I no longer get so hot-headed easily and I had also become more willing to look at conflicting situations from both sides.

My first week of meditation was enjoyable, but I had a mild ongoing headache which I rarely experienced. I believed that it was because my brain never had the opportunity to ‘go to gym and become better’ till I began meditation so there was some discomfort in the beginning. It had helped me many times to calm my mind if I have racing thoughts that prevented me from sleeping at night. I was once still awake at 4am and had to wake up at 6am. I decided to meditate for 30 mins and surprisingly, I went to work without feeling sluggish and did not feel lousy. My mind felt rested. I returned home in awe of the benefits of meditations, though I do not recommend it as a way to cheat sleep as I still believe sleep is important to help heal and recover the body after a day’s work and stress.

I still do not meditate on a regular basis, though I wish to make it a daily habit in the near future. I believe that even without the app, anyone can meditate and benefit from meditation to become happier, kinder and a calmer person as the technique is easy to learn and free for all, for the past thousands of years. My meditation practice had also in a way benefited the people around me, therefore I wish to establish a more regular meditation routine and learn more meditation techniques in the future. 

 

Chang Rui Fen

March 2018 (Weekend class)

10 April 2018