Updated: Aug 19, 2021
We all need to reduce stress in our lives. Busy schedules and demanding lives call for ways of finding peace – peace in our minds and in our hearts. A way to access this peace is through the practice of meditation.
I don’t have time to sit down and do nothing, you may say to yourself.
It is something and you can find the time.
One client, who was frazzled because of family and work schedule demands, was adamant that she didn’t have five extra minutes in her day to sit, or stand, or lay down and meditate. I asked her how she was feeling during those waking hours trying to keep up with all she had to do. Was she going through life with a smile on her face and in her heart and in her words, or was she working and cooking and driving kids to ballet class with a reluctant grimace? Was she finding joy in the activities she was doing?
She was not finding much joy, she admitted.
That’s because she had not put on her oxygen mask first.
Flight attendants have the right message. Before a person can take care of the needs of others, they need to take care of their needs first. This involves putting on your own oxygen mask first.
Meditation is the oxygen mask of the soul.
Once you have your own oxygen mask (meditation practice) on you will find numerous benefits. There’s much evidence supporting the numerous benefits of meditation. Meditation can help improve sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, decrease pain and ease symptoms of depression. Meditation leads to greater self-awareness. Meditation can help you feel in control. Meditation can assist you in regaining your inner power, accessing your intuition and reaching your goals.
You can find a meditation practice that meets your needs and complements your life because there are so many options to choose from. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. To get started, pick one and give it a try for five minutes a day for one week. If it doesn’t fit, try another meditation method. You usually don’t buy the first pair of shoes you try on, and mediation is similar. Sometimes you buy a pair of shoes and after wearing them for a bit you realize that they rub you the wrong way, and meditation can be similar. But don’t stop shopping until you find the practice that works for you.
This is about you. Your practice will not be like anyone else’s. No comparing. When you find the practice that works for you, then it’s the right practice for you. And just like shoes, you don’t have to stick with one type of meditation. You can find a couple of different methods that work for you.
Popular types of meditation practice include:
· Relaxation meditation
· Mindfulness meditation
· Spiritual meditation
· Focused Meditation
· Movement Meditation
· Mantra Meditation
· Transcendental Meditation
· Loving-Kindness Meditation
· Visualization Meditation
· Guided Meditation
Here is a simple meditation practice for beginners. Give it a try and feel free to tweak it in anyway to make it your own:
Sit or lie comfortably.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath, without judging yourself.
Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start. Set your timer on your phone if you want or just do this practice until you feel as if you are done. Tomorrow you can try it for a longer period.
If this doesn’t work for you, you can try one of the online mediation apps, or a guided mediation from YouTube. Or google one of the other types of meditation methods and give it a try.
I’d love to hear about your practice.