Thursday February 5, 2015

The #1 Health-Booster in 2015

By Fr. Tom Shroer, SM

So read the headlines in the January 11, 2015 "Parade" magazine, with the sub heading: Politicians, Children and Celebrities are doing it - Shouldn't You? The article encourages us simply take time to MEDITATE. The article states that the "hottest well-being trend right now isn't a hardcore workout or a fad diet. It's a gentle, ancient practice that millions say is the antidote to the 21st century stress that affects everything from job performance (and academic performance) and sleep to your weight."

Meditation "looks like you aren't doing anything, but when we watch the brain in these studies, we see different parts lighting up and activating, says psychologist Elisha Goldstein..... You can literally change your brain through practice." In fact, research evidence showed that meditation increased gray matter in brain areas associated with learning, memory and compassion, and a decrease in the part of the brain linked to anxiety and stress.

Therefore, it is no surprise that in today's Gospel reading from Mark we hear Jesus rising very early before dawn, leaving and going off to a deserted place where he prayed. His previous day had clearly been quite challenging: healing Peter's mother-in-law as well as those who were brought to him who were ill or possessed by demons. "The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases.... "

How do you plan on dealing with stress in 2015 - those times when the "whole town is gathered at your door"? Is meditation, personal prayer part of your day? Try making meditation a high priority and give at least 10-15 minutes a day to the practice.

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