One of the most influential minds of the late nineteenth century, William James, divided people into two categories, “the sick souls” and “the healthy minded” . He identified life as a constant psychological challenge that we, all people, must decide how to process. James is quoted by saying, “What inhibits the will is the tendency to question everything.”  He defined the sick souls as having manic depressive tendencies, being overcome by emotion and accepting a life engulfed by constant analysis. He regarded the healthy minded, on the other hand, as having the capability to chose to ignore disasters and accept situations as they are, moving on quicker. As James explains that anyone can become healthy minded, a master of themselves, through the discipline of mediation.

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“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui [master of himself] if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence. But it is easier to define this ideal than to give practical directions for bringing it about.”

There are quite a few resources and phone apps out there to help you meditate. There are a few different types of meditation you can try, the most popular out there are called "mindfulness meditation” meditation” and "guided meditation.”

Guided Meditation this is more like listening to an open ended plot or story that allows you to relax and stay in the moment. This type of meditation is great if you need a break, if your brain keeps going over and over one thing, or one problem. You’ll need a place to sit comfortably, some headphones and a device (phone, computer, ect.) to listen to your mini-mental-vacation.

Mindfulness meditation is more for a quit setting, no distractions, no added sounds, you’ll hold a slightly distant glaze about 3 feet in front of you. As thoughts come into your mind, you recognize them, and without further analysis, you push the thought aside. You can say, "Hi, thought! I’m going to get back with you later.” then imagine pushing that thought of your head. This type of meditation is great for cognitive control and discipline. It can help you organize a bunch of thought and clean pathways to information you haven’t accessed in a while.

A few great phone apps to help you get started:

  • Headspace: Meditation & Mindfulness, by Headspace Inc.

  • Let’s Meditate: Guided Meditation, by Heal Me Team

  • Calm: Meditate, Sleep, Relax, by Inc.

  • Meditation & Relaxation: Guided Meditation, by Fitness22

A few great websites to help you get started: