27 Sep Disconnect with Meditation
We all have busy lives full of responsibilities pulling us in different directions, which can lead to stress and disease. So, it’s important to learn how to “press pause on your day” when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. In my forthcoming book, Return To Life; How To Find Balance and Bliss in a Stressed Out World, I will give you practical tools to fill up your own Bliss Tool Box. My personal favorite and life-changing tool is my meditation practice.
There are lots of different types of meditations, so I encourage my students to explore the Internet and try several different kinds, until one (or more) feels like a fit. Meditation is not a “one size fits all” practice. All meditation is good. The only bad meditation, is no meditation at all. Setting aside time for your meditation practice each day is important, even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
Meditation is simply a way to train and focus the mind. Think of it as taking your mind muscle to the gym. Most of the time throughout the day our minds are wandering…we are dwelling on decisions or regrets of the past, having anxiety or fear about the future…neither of which we can change or control. Meditation can help bring us back into the present moment where we can be less stressed, calmer and more compassionate to ourselves and others.
Here are the some basics to get your meditation practice started: find a comfortable spot and get ready to disconnect and relax. When you first sit down, thoughts may come in at a faster rate than ever before. Just remember that it will get easier over time. And keep trying. Begin to focus your attention on your breath, just ride the wave of your breath in and out. Focus on the tip of your nose, feeling each breath enter and leave the nostrils. Don’t force or manipulate your breathing, let it flow naturally. Now begin to silently begin to repeat the words “I Am (say your first name), I Am (your first name), continue to gently repeat . As your “monkey mind” wanders to that to-do list, or other thoughts, let them float by and continue to silently repeat I Am (your first name)…repeat theses words to bring your mind back to focus. This is called a Mantra Meditation. A mantra is a word or words that have no particular meaning. It is a wonderful way to take your mind from activity to silence; as you repeat the mantra you are progressively quieting the mind until it can reach stillness. Stay in meditation for a few minutes and build your practice over time. I suggest using a timer, so you don’t get distracted by checking the time. Set your designated time and stay with it until the chime goes off. I use the App Insight Timer on my smart phone.
Meditation helped me get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable in my life because the more I allowed myself to feel the discomfort of just sitting with myself with no distractions, the more I internalized the idea that discomfort and difficulty weren’t going to kill me. I learned I could sit quietly with those feelings and respond to them in a more positive way, rather than denying them or avoiding them. And the effects of that practice spilled over into the rest of my life. It became easier to step back , “hit pause” , observe what was happening to me in high-stress situations, and respond rather that react.
Did you know that meditation is getting praise from the medical world? Studies have revealed that after just a few weeks, or even a few days, of meditating many people already start to experience a reduction in their level of anxiety and stress, as well as an increase in focus, concentration, and memory. And if you can keep the practice going, those benefits will just magnify over time.
Meditation makes my life more rich and deep within, and I hope that you are able to explore it and benefit from it, too.