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Meditation: Pressing the Pause Button in Real Life

Meditation has been a huge benefit to me and my mental health. I have had racing thoughts most of my life and meditation helps to slow them down to a manageable, normal pace.

I liken meditation to the “start” button on the old Nintendo controllers of the 1980s. The power is on, the video game is clearly on the TV screen, but “start” has clearly been pressed because the game is paused (some games used “select” to pause the game, but I digress). Some games will still play the music while paused. Others will have some kind of movement happening in the background while paused.

Meditation is like the “start” (or “select”) button of life. You’re clearly still thinking. Everything around you still exists in real time. Family members are in other parts of the house. Life continues on. But your mind has been paused.

You can meditate anywhere at anytime. You can meditate early in the morning out on the backyard patio. You can meditate in bed. You can meditate in the shower. You can do a meditation while driving, where your only thought is on the current action you are taking to drive (one of my favorites).

You can go the Zen buddhist route and clear your mind of all thoughts. You can focus on just one thought. You can let your mind run wild and settle down while just sitting quietly for 5-10 minutes. Maybe you’ll even fall asleep for a little snooze.

Meditation positively affects mental health, restores vitality, improves sleep, reduces pain, lowers blood pressure, and so on and so forth.

The longer you can meditate, the better it is for you. However, if you can only meditate for a few minutes at a time at first, something is vastly better than nothing at all.

If you haven’t begun meditating yet, no worries. Start today. Make it a goal to just slow down and “pause” for a minute. Tomorrow make it two minutes. By next week you could be meditating for 5-10 minutes at a time.

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