Meditation can reduce stress, combat heart disease and improve your mood.
Meditation can reduce stress, combat heart disease and improve your mood. Matthew Johnstone makes meditation simple as he gives you the abridged version of his book Quiet the Mind.
I’ve just completed 3 weeks of media interviews for the launch of my new book Quiet the Mind. One question which has popped up several times is ‘why an illustrated book on meditation?’.
I spent 15 years working as a creative in advertising and I’m highly aware of the power of the image; a picture is worth a 1000 words after all. It’s more visceral and can get to the core of an issue in the blink of an eye. I tend to create my books with the idea that you don’t have to physically read them to get them. And what I’ve discovered is that adults still quietly love a good picture book.
In researching this book I quickly realised that there are many, many books on how to meditate. But why does it take so many books, so many words, to describe something which is fundamentally about doing nothing?
I haven’t reinvented the wheel. I’m certainly not a guru, I’ve never been to ashram, I don’t know one chakra from the next, I can’t sit in the Lotus position on the floor and I don’t know the meaning of life. But what I do know is that life is so much better when I meditate. My point of difference is the images; they are simply visual metaphors to help the reader get into the required space to quiet their mind.
I’m currently doing a lot of public speaking to corporations, community groups, professional sporting bodies, farming communities and high schools. A lot of these talks are about mental health, what happens when we lose it and how we can build resilience and mental fortitude. A key ingredient in this equation is meditation. When I talk to farmers for example and discuss the importance of turning inward—some of the looks I get; you would think I’d just asked them to appear on a Mardi Gras float.
The truth of the matter is anyone and everyone can benefit from some regular quiet. It’s not some fringy, spiritual, hippy thing which time wasters do. It has been clinically proven to reduce stress, combat heart disease, help improve depression and decrease pain. And more importantly it can give us clarity, improve our mood and our ability to get things done. Personally the greatest bonus is that it makes me so much more present, I feel so much more ‘in the room’ and so much more engaged. I truly believe it makes me a much better listener.
The biggest hurdle to get over is yourself and your thoughts. The benefits of meditation are not immediate. Just as you don’t go for a jog and suddenly find you are fit, it is the cumulative practice which turns positive results.
The other point to consider is that these days no matter how old we are we seem to be busier. Technology has made us more connected than ever before. Apparently one of the most influential groups on Facebook is women over 50. People blog, text, email, tweet, facebook, surf the net and then run their day to day lives on top of all that. I think in a world where we’ve become so connected; never before have we been so disconnected. Meditation is the perfect counter balance to the high-speed world we currently find ourselves in. It brings us balance and it gives time to reflect.
Click NEXT to find out the 11 steps to quieting your mind
Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free
- Receive our daily enewsletter
- Enter competitions
- Comment on articles