Meditation, also known as mindfulness is a powerful way to relieve stress levels. Even with a hectic schedule, meditation done for as little as 15-20 minutes a day will achieve stress reduction.
Meditation is an excellent source of relaxation after or before a stressful event in your life. When you meditate before you go to work, it makes your entire day more enjoyable. Continued daily practice brings about astounding improvements in your overall outlook on life. Meditation is recommended and widely used for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you’ve been through a traumatic event that’s caused anxiety you don’t seem to be able to shake, then, this technique is a very important tactic for you to use on a daily basis.
There are many techniques of meditation taught around the world. I learned Transcendental Meditation early in my adult life and that’s what I recommend. But the initial cost is expensive. So, keep in mind that it’s a one-time expenditure with benefits that you will use for the rest of your life. However, there are many other equally effective meditation techniques.
“The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.” —Milarepa
Please know that meditation itself is not a religion. This is a common stigma that keeps many people from enjoying its benefits. It is first and foremost a technique of relaxation that when regularly practiced will relieve your anxieties and enhance your overall aura of life.
You can meditate just about anywhere for a few seconds or minutes. Places that come to my mind are while waiting for the light to turn green, sitting on a park bench during a break from work, or at your desk to add a quick uplift to your spirits anytime, anywhere.
The best place for longer periods of meditation is at home. Keep those fur babies otherwise occupied because unless they are completely docile, they will interrupt your meditation session.
Next, ensure that your clothing is loose. Clothes that bind will restrict the stress from leaving your body.
*What is the “alpha state” of the brain? Theta waves (3 to 8 Hz) occur during sleep but have also been observed in the deepest states of Zen meditation. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) are present when your brain is in an idling default-state typically created when you’re daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation. VIA Psychology Today
Find a comfortable place to sit with your arms and legs relaxed and your head in an upright position. If you lay your head down, you’ll fall asleep and that’s a different state of mind. The state of mind we want to reach with meditation is the “alpha state”.
When you are comfortable, take three deep breaths in and out. Then let your mind go free. It helps if you have a key word (mantra) to repeat in your mind throughout your meditation session. I use the word “Ah-Em”. You can use “Om” or any other word that comforts you and allows you to effortlessly let your mind wander while mentally repeating your mantra over and over for the entire length of your meditation.
With practice, it will become so effortless that when you silently begin to repeat your mantra, you naturally slip into the alpha state which is where your mind is able to relax and release stress.
The rest is taken care of by your mind in its relaxed state. Here is a picturesque explanation.
Think of stress as little bubbles at the bottom of a lake. These little bubbles are traumatic events in your life. When the water is all choppy and dirty, the bubbles get stuck at the bottom of the lake in the mud where they fester and continually grow larger.
When you meditate, the lake becomes still and clear. Then, those little bubbles can start rising to the top where they will be dissipated and that piece of stress will be gone from your life forever. You will still have the memory of the event but eventually, you won’t feel the trauma.
Sometimes there are a lot of stress bubbles that form around a single event and you may have to relive it over again several times during meditation to work it entirely out of your system. Again, you will still remember the event but you won’t feel the debilitating emotions surrounding that event.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind.” —Buddha
Great! Now start that routine of 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the late afternoon. You will benefit from once per day as well. Once is better than not at all.
As you can see, there’s no great mystery to it. This simple technique works great and lasts throughout your day or refreshes you for your evening. You may also wish to explore other types of meditation such as ‘guided’, ‘chants’ or ‘music’. Go to Beautiful Lives by Susan on YouTube. Select ‘PlayLists’, then select ‘Guided Meditations’.
As a balanced person, you are able to focus your energies on your family and business while you take effective action to move forward to achieve your dreams and goals. You will feel more relaxed and confident with each meditation session you experience.
If you identify with my thoughts and feelings, if you have a comment or questions – whatever – let me know. I want to hear from you in the comment section below.
Together we light the way