Join Scott Shute for an in-depth discussion in this video What’s your intention with meditation?, part of Mindful Meditations for Work and Life.
- [Instructor] Meditation is a practice where we use a type of mental exercise to train our attention and awareness to help us achieve mental clarity and a sense of calm. But why would we want to? Let's start with intention. What do you hope to achieve with meditation? I lead a couple of weekly meditation sessions at LinkedIn, and each time before we start, I ask newcomers why they came. What do they hope to achieve from the session? The answers are fairly predictable. They want less stress. They want to have more control over their mind or their thoughts. And they want to feel better. Maybe sleep better. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, reduce anxiety, help us achieve clarity and a better sense of well being, and those things can be a bit hard to quantify. And also it doesn't happen overnight. I think intention is really important in this work. There are lots of people who start meditating and don't stick with it long enough to build a habit. And that's too bad, cause they miss out on the benefits that they wanted in the first place. Intention helps us get clear on what we're trying to achieve, and gives us a better chance of creating the habit of a regular practice. Think of it like the gym. If we go to the gym and start lifting weights, well if we're not sure why we're there, our habit might die off before it ever really starts, because it's not part of our normal routine. It's uncomfortable. It's work. And there are lots of other things pulling at our time. If we have a clear intention, it helps us remember why we're doing it in the first place, and push through any of the challenges that come up. Later on, I'll talk about the systems we can put in place to help us keep our habits. For now, let's focus on our intention. I'll share mine as an example. I'm sure we've each had moments where we felt like we had access to all of our resources. And we could handle anything that life gave us. And that feels really good. And we've all probably had days when the wheels are coming off. Where we melted into an unproductive crying mess at the slightest provocation. And that does not feel good. Well, what's really the difference between these two days? Think about that. Our happiness is not based on what's happening to us. It's all about how we react to what's happening to us. So for me it's really simple. I meditate because I want more of the good days and less of the bad. I want more days when I'm feeling really capable, and operating at my highest potential. I just want to be happy. That's my reason. And research shows there are lots of benefits to meditation, like reduced stress, reduced anxiety, lowering of blood pressure, improved emotional health, longer attention span. It can even help fight addictions, and enhances our self awareness. I invite you to take a few moments before you continue on, and try to get clear about what you'd most like to achieve with meditation.
- Adapting your posture and body language
- Breathing exercises
- Arrival practice
- Body scanning
- Loving kindness
- Sound-based exercise
- Keeping your meditation practice going