Mind Your Body TV Episode 2 with Ronald Alexander, Ph.D.
Living in the now is good medicine. Can you block thoughts about what happened an hour ago or about what might happen next week? With mindfulness, you’re not judging or allowing thoughts to control you. You’re just present. In the present. Watch this video to learn easy ways to meditate here and now.
According to Psychology Today, if you can truly focus on the now, you’ll amass an enviable list of traits. Story author Jay Dixit says mindfulness reduces stress—which may reduce risk of heart disease—that it boosts immune functioning, reduces chronic pain, lowers blood pressure and helps patients cope with cancer. It’s a free prescription for baby boomers concerned about mind and body health, and they can learn easy ways to meditate.
Why meditation works for you
Here’s the payoff, he says. “Mindful people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses. Anchoring awareness in the here and now reduces the kinds of impulsivity and reactivity that underlie depression, binge eating, and attention problems. Mindful people can hear negative feedback without feeling threatened. They fight less with their romantic partners and are more accommodating and less defensive. As a result, mindful couples have more satisfying relationships.”
Sounds like utopia, doesn’t it? Sign me up for these easy ways to meditate.
Wise Mind, Open Mind
That’s the title of an enlightening book published last year by leading Somatic mind-body psychotherapist Ronald Alexander, Ph. D. of Santa Monica. Just so you and I don’t make excuses, he debunks what he calls “the four myths of meditation.”
Myth 1: “Practicing mindfulness meditation will conflict with my religious beliefs.”
Myth 2: “I’m too restless and busy to learn to be quiet and practice any form of meditation.”
Myth 3: “If I practice mindfulness, it will put out the fire of my ambition and creativity.”
Myth 4: “If I practice mindfulness, what I’ll discover will be so upsetting that I’ll become paralyzed with fear.”
Responses to the above: “No.” “No.” “No.” “No.”
Lose Negativity Weight
He hopes we’ll ditch negative self-judgments that prevent us from discovering our power to change our lives for the better. Positive thought patterns keep crisis from being overwhelming: Do you know anyone for whom little things are crises? It’s exhausting for them and for you if you’re nearby.
Lifelong thinking habits don’t up and go away, however. “The object is to stop assigning meaning to these self-judgments,” he says, “because once you start to give them weight, they begin to weigh you down. Through the practice of mindfulness, you can learn to notice when you are tearing yourself down and begin to change your habit of self-criticism.”
I’m going to try these easy ways to meditate for at least a few minutes because I want to shed the negative weight of worry. I’m tuning out now to tune into me.