For those who love skiing, there comes a point when we’re so deeply engaged in our enjoyment of the activity that it becomes all-consuming, most don’t realize that when this occurs, it means that we’ve entered a state of meditation… While skiing!
Neuroplasticity is one of the human brain’s greatest abilities. By practicing meditation/mindfulness, we have the ability to strengthen the good parts of our brain that enable us to feel good, and calm the parts that are responsible for stressing us out. When we engage in enjoyable activities that are all-consuming, effectively allowing them to take up all of our attention in a laser-focus sense, we are training our brains to make us happier.
The myths surrounding meditation, most of which seem to be based on images of cross-legged yogi’s and long, low “Ooomm’s”, have been debunked. There are many different ways to practice meditation, and the best part is that there is no right or wrong way to go about it. Heck, if the example above is what works for you, then great! Keep it up! But for everyone else, there is certain to be a meditation strategy that works for you, and even if you don’t know what that strategy is yet, you’re bound to find it if you look inwards with an open mind. Don’t stress it though. Chances are, you’re already experienced in meditation and already have a reliable method or two of training your brain to be happier. Just ask yourself this question to help kickstart the discovery process: What are some activities that align with my passions and are all-consuming to the point where I get lost in them and feel refreshed afterwards?
For the past 25 years, that activity for myself has been skiing, and I approach every ski day in the same way because it’s all part of my tried and true strategy to achieve meditation and invoke mindfulness. I’m not the kind of skier who tears down the mountain, shredding the pow and trying to maximize the number of runs in a single day. My method is more methodical. I like to float down the groomers at a pace that allows me to take in the alpine scenery and the sweet scent of pine on the chilly air. I want to feel as though I could reach up and brush the blue sky. I want to experience the transfer of energy between my feet and the mountain. Putting myself in a position to achieve these feelings is how I meditate, and I know that it works because I’m sure to be sporting a wide smile after every run.
But as I touched on earlier, there is no right or wrong way to go about this. Now that I’ve shared what works for me, I hope you feel inspired to explore what works for you, or if you already have a meditation strategy, whatever it may be, please feel free to share for the benefit of the Alpen Life community in the comments below.
Here’s to training our brains to help us feel happier!
Thank you for reading!