Mindful Moments: Exercising Patience

Another day in this mindfulness experiment (see day’s 1 and 2 for the entire back story). Madson’s prompt for the book’s third entry goes as follows:

Sit comfortably and begin to breathe naturally, not forcing the depth or pace of your breath… as you breathe in, imagine your capacity for patience, tolerance, and understanding growing as your lungs expand.

Then imagine your frustrations leaving as you exhale. Continue this until you feel completely relaxed and composed.

“Breathing this way literally clears the air.” It’s true, it does!

As I’m sure many readers can relate, I used to find myself feeling frustrated at work before Lisa and I moved to (our fair city) Cambridge and “the match” forced me to switch jobs. At my prior position, I remember feeling my pulse race and my chest pound as I tried to complete tasks in a timely fashion. This seemed to be a daily thing; we were chronically understaffed, workloads were not equal, and the director did not care. To be completely frank, I was unhappy.

Within this maelström I found myself with prehypertension. A state where your measured blood pressure (systolic/diastolic) falls between 120-139 mm Hg (systolic)/80-89 mm Hg (diastolic). My primary care doctor was concerned because it could progress to high blood pressure (hypertension) unless something changed. Usually the first suggestion is lifestyle modifications, such as routinely exercising and eating healthier. Thing is, I was already doing that… Lisa and I ate vegan or vegetarian 75-85% of the time, and I exercised every single day.

That’s when I found meditation, the calm website and its accompanying mobile app calm. Since moving to (our fair city) Cambridge, I have tracked my blood pressure every night before bed and whether it was the change in jobs, or adding meditation to my morning ritual, my systolic and diastolic blood pressure values both dropped 20 mmHg—can’t complain about that! I still measure it every night so it doesn’t creep up on me again.

What benefits has meditation brought to your life?



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