Meditation Is Not For Me...Or Is It?
So you believe meditation is not for you. Your mind wanders, you can’t sit still, and you’re just too busy to take time away from your day. Who has time to gaze at their belly making strange noises, anyway? You might be surprised to learn that there are several different forms of meditation. One will probably be a fit for you.
Why would you want to try meditation?
Studies show that meditation changes the way you feel, the way you think, and how your brain works. It can have a positive effect on your health by lowering stress and anxiety. In some cases, it has lowered blood pressure and helped with chronic pain.
I offer you four different types of meditation in an attempt to find the one that is right for you.
1. Mindfulness meditation:
Currently, mindfulness meditation Is very popular in our culture. It is the practice of intentionally focusing on the present moment, being aware of your feelings, thoughts and body sensations, and doing so in an accepting and non-judgmental manner.
Mindfulness meditation can be done anywhere in an informal way. Pay attention to the present moment, what you say, what is said to you and what you are doing. Some even consider mindful living to be a way of life.
In a more formal way, it is done in a quiet place. Begin by paying attention to your breath as it flows in and out of your body. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your breath. This is done in a nonjudgmental and encouraging way.
2. Mantra Meditation:
A mantra is a syllable or word that is repeated for the purpose of focusing your mind. “OM” is a commonly used sound for meditation.
There are different opinions when it comes to the importance of the word or sound you choose. Some say that it is only for the purpose of focusing your mind. Others would say that the word is important because of the meaning it conveys to your deeper self. Try different methods and see what fits for you.
Mantra meditation is done sitting or lying in a quiet place, in a comfortable position. The word or syllable is slowly repeated. This can be done silently or in a whisper. Again, try different ways to see what fits for you.
3. Guided Meditation:
This type of meditation is based on the idea that the human mind and body will respond to imagery in the same way as it responds to an actual physical experience. A script is used to take you through an experience designed to promote relaxation and the lowering of stress. You can use a recorded meditation or create your own.
Begin by taking slow deep breaths. See yourself breathing in calm and breathing out tension. As your body relaxes, you can imagine a scene where you feel safe and calm. (see my article, How to Create a safe Place) Use all your senses to fully participate in the imagery - see it, smell it, feel it, touch it.
Guided meditations come in audio, or a combination of audio-guided and video-guided meditation. These can be traditional meditations, guided imagery, relaxation or affirmations to name a few. There are many apps that have guided meditations. With a set of headphones you can listen to a guided meditation almost anywhere.
4. Walking meditation:
This is an excellent type of meditation if you find it difficult to sit still or if you find nature particularly meaningful. It is a meditation that focuses on the sensation of walking, what you see, and the feelings associated with your experiences.
It can be done anywhere that it is safe to walk without interruption. Eventually you can weave it into your daily life by paying attention to how you walk, to walk mindfully.
When doing a walking meditation you begin by noticing how your feet feel while in contact with the ground. Allow yourself to imagine the pull of gravity through the bottoms of your feet. Begin walking and pay attention to how your body shifts as you move your feet.
After noticing your body, you can let your attention gently move to the plants, the feel of the air on your body, or anything that captures your interest. Take the time to see what is surrounding you.
There is no guarantee that meditation will make big changes in your life, but what it will do is help you be more present in your life and give you a moment of relaxation.
Are you having difficulties juggling all you have to do in your life? Is the stress getting to you and having a negative impact on your life? I can help you learn how to reduce stress and enjoy your life more. Call me at (919)881-2001.