Stressful day at work? Family issues driving you nuts? Can't seem to relax and focus?
That's what I'm here to help you with today, by introducing you to meditation.
First, a basic definition: meditation is an ancient practice that helps to control our own mind and consequently our own life and discover ourselves.
Now, a lot of people picture sitting in a green field with your legs crossed when they think of meditation. And while that's a perfectly good variation, there are many ways to do it. I thought today I would show you some really simple meditation exercises you can use to relax and recenter yourself.
By the way, is really good for you to set aside some time to meditate every day, not just when things are particularly stressful. If done regularly, it can make dealing with difficult situations much easier, help you feel clear-headed, and simply things in a very pleasing way.
And don’t worry if you’ve never meditated a day in your life… these are very basic exercises anyone can do, but they will make a significant difference for you, I promise.
Technique #1: Basic Sitting Meditation
Find a quiet and comfortable place you won’t be disturbed. You can sit in a chair or on the ground if you’d like. Relax your arms but have the palms of your hands face the sky. Then it’s essential you become “present.” Take in the surroundings and everything you feel. Where is there tension? Most importantly, what are you thinking?
Then begin taking slow, deep breaths, feeling your breath pass from your lungs to your nostrils and out into the air, then back in. Begin to take notice of your entire body and how each body part feels. Begin at the toes and work your way up. If your mind begins to wander, bring your thoughts back to your breath. Breathe 5-10 times with full concentration on each. You can take it a step further and hum (the well-known “Om” sound as you breathed out).
Technique #2: Walking Meditation
If you aren’t the type to sit still, this can be a very helpful technique for relaxing and focusing your thoughts. Find a quiet space outside and walk at a slow or medium pace. Focus on your feet, and try to distinguish when your toe touches down on the ground, when your foot is flat, when your heel comes up, etc. Also, observe sensory details: the pressing of your foot into your sole, the breeze on your feet, and so on.
When your mind begins to wander, bring your focus back to your feet. This will help you build a skill of noticing when your attention drifts into default mode and bring it back into focus. It can help you be more present and in control of your attention every day, which can be very helpful when things get stressful -- like on tax day!
Technique #3: Mindful Observation
This exercise can help you connect to the natural world and appreciate the beauty that can be so often taken for granted.
Select a natural object in your immediate environment. This could be a tree, a bird’s nest, a cloud or even the entire sky. Focus on the object for 1-2 minutes. As you do this, channel all of your attention to this one object and relax into watching it. Look at the object as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen anything like it. Visually explore every aspect of its formation and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence. Finally, allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
There are a lot more amazing techniques out there for you to try, so I would say don’t be shy and find what really works best for YOU. We’re all different so it’s important to find the right fit for each of us.
As a Good Lifer, I hope you take time to try these techniques that will help you be more present, more focused, and happier than ever before!
All my best to you and I hope you have a wonderful day.