Today was probably the best so far when it comes to cravings, which seem to have died down quite a bit now that my body is getting the nutrition it needs. I remember when I would eat unhealthy foods like pizza, and still be hungry a short time later because I gained no nutritional value from the meal. Now, after having plenty of fruit and vegetables, I find myself feeling hungry less and less. My body no longer needs to send hunger signals to my brain in order to fill the nutrition gaps in my system. It’s very freeing to be able to have control of my body again. And now that I have won that battle, I think it’s a good time to start working more on the mind.
I find that solitary meditation is the best place to start when it comes to healing the mind. If anything it’s a good way to actually decide what it is you want to do to repair the damage. Many people believe that meditation is something only spiritual weirdos do while crossing their legs and humming chants, but in fact meditation can happen in all sorts of places and positions during your day and doesn’t require a religion or yoga class to achieve. You actually already include a little meditation in your daily routine and you don’t even know it! Every time you take a shower, go for a run, sit on the john, or even just daydreaming while waiting for that text to send, that counts as meditation. All meditation really is, is taking some time to yourself to quietly ponder your life.
I call this more leisure type of pondering “unstructured meditation” since it doesn’t really have any set of rules that apply to it except for being alone in a relaxing moment. Structured meditation, however, takes this relaxing activity to the next level and allows for greater mental recuperation. The rules here are 1.) Find a safe, comfortable environment you feel at peace in, such as a soft spot in the grass, your favorite chair, or your bedroom. 2.) Get as comfort as possible. Some people sit with their legs crossed and hands folded, but this is by no means a stone rule. Laying in a hammock is just as good. What matters is that your body is able to relax and relieve pent up tension in your muscles. A good comfort position should be almost good enough to fall asleep in, but not quiet. Meditation and laying down for a nap are two different things! 3.) Think positive, especially about yourself. Don’t think about regrets or the other various stresses in your life. During meditation you are trying to escape those troubles and create positive synapses in the brain. The more positive you think, the more healing you will do, and vice versa. You want to free your mind as much as possible.
Everyone has different thoughts during meditation, because we are all very different people. Some might just think about floating in space, others might ride their favorite roller coaster with Johnny Depp, while some might take a tour of their dream house with their passed love one. As long as you feel good while thinking, that is what matters. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to throw in a few thoughts like “I am a good person. I love myself for who I am. I accept my flaws and forgive my mistakes.” Some of us need more of these thoughts than others, and that’s ok. Over time after several weeks of repeated positive thinking, your mind will have repaired to the point where these thoughts come easier and more frequently, until finally it’s simply your way of thinking all the time, in and outside of meditation.
I should also point out another type of meditation, a style I like to call constructive meditation. This is where you ponder deeply on challenges of the mind, such as doing math in your head, debating with yourself about both sides of a moral issue, or making a plan in your mind for a project while considering multiple possibilities. The point of constructive meditation is to focus your mind completely, allowing yourself to not be distracted. This mental focus helps build critical thinking skills, and greatly helps you in daily life when you might be required to think under pressure. It’s like kung fu training for your mind, honing your thinking process, making your mind strong, fast, and efficient.