Spring-clean Your Mind
Free yourself from negative thought patterns and toxic thoughts! Here’s how you can bring more saucha into your life through meditation
Spring is synonymous with renewal and fresh beginnings. This time of the year often puts us in the mood to spring-clean our homes – doing a #Konmarie and clearing out all that accumulated junk sure feels good.
It’s the same when it comes to our mental state. In life, we’re always searching for that feeling of peace and sense of well-being, but over time, mental clutter builds up, leaving us with brain fog and a noisy “monkey mind”. So what can we do to achieve that crystal clear state of mind?
THE KEY LIES IN MEDITATION
A time-tested and scientifically proven technique, meditation provides you with the roadmap out of your jungle of thoughts. And while meditation is often used for relaxation, there is plenty of research that demonstrates its powerful and mind-altering impact in numerous ways, including benefits such as reduced levels of stress, boosted memory, and better focus.
Now picture the mind as a snow globe – when brain fog sets in, our mind enters that shaken-up state, filled with snowflakes haphazardly falling all over the place. It is only when the dust settles that everything becomes crystal clear.
So herein lies the importance of meditation: it is a practice that quiets the mind and teaches us how to connect to the present. Think of it as a self-help tool to enter a peaceful mental state more quickly for greater clarity.
Our life is shaped by our mind, for we become what we think.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the very first of the five niyamas (or personal disciplines) is the notion of saucha. Translated simply, it refers to the purity of body, mind, and speech.
On the most basic of levels, it’s about keeping ourselves clean through our daily habits and diet. We brush our teeth, bathe, drink clean water, eat healthy, and keep our living spaces free from dirt and grime. This enables us to maintain the purity and cleanliness of our physical body.
On a mental level, regular meditation is key when it comes to keeping our minds as pure as possible. We strive to steer clear of mental clutter and negativity. We let go of things like jealousy, blame, greed, anger, and resentment so that we can be free from rumination, negative thought patterns, and unhealthy mental stories.
With purity of mind, the words we say to others (and ourselves), are often kinder and more positive. Spoken words have the capacity to do much damage if we’re not careful, so it’s essential to consider saucha when it comes to the conscious awareness that forms our speech (and resulting actions).
A WORKOUT FOR YOUR BRAIN
A regular meditation practice is akin to giving your mind a regular workout. The more consistent you are, the stronger your brain “muscles” get, giving you the ability to focus better and find clarity whenever you need it. In fact, research has shown that meditation changes the brain physically, building new neural pathways and increasing grey matter levels.
If you’re new to meditation or struggle with it, here’s an 11-minute Guided Meditation for Clarity to get your started.