GUEST WRITER - Meditation for Stress Release
Meditation is definitely not an easy thing to do, I mean let’s be honest how many of us have the patience to sit there and try to shut our minds up when we have a million other things to do?
Yes, meditation can get frustrating, and I admit to procrastinating a lot when it comes down to it.
Years ago after going through a little bit of a rough patch I made a commitment to myself that I would take all the steps necessary to feeling better ASAP, and that included daily meditation. I sat through the frustration, through the impatience, I had to learn to trust myself and believe in myself; and it made a dramatic difference!
Of course the same questions come up for everyone - am I doing this correctly?
Am I meant to be thinking about random things, is this normal? Why won’t my mind shut up?
And the answer is YES! You’re doing it correctly, thoughts ARE meant to come up, that’s what our minds do, that’s what the human mind is made to do.
And so the point of meditation, is to become aware of the thoughts, (and sometimes even that takes a while) to realise that you are thinking, and then once you realise you come back to your point of focus, which is normally the breath, or a great point to start; and of course another thought will come up and another and you keep coming back to the breath/point of focus.
The process of meditation for beginners and even for those who have been meditating for a long time, is TRAINING the mind. How long has your mind not been trained to slow down for?
All the years that you have been alive, without practicing meditation; and so of course it will be challenging, it takes time. But it is well worth it.
Here are some of the benefits of meditation:
- Decreases stress, anxiety & depression.
- Increases mental clarity, focus & awareness.
- Calms down the nervous system.
- Increases feelings of happiness and love.
- You become less reactive.
- Establish a deeper connection with yourself & others.
- Access higher levels of consciousness.
- Deeper sleep
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves productivity
The list goes on and on…
So here are a few tips to start of with:
Firstly find a comfortable seated position, if it’s uncomfortable sitting in a cross legged position on the floor, sit on a chair or lie back. (if seated, try to sit up nice & tall & maybe invest in a meditation cushion)
Falling asleep is okay, it’s obviously what your body needs, and congratulations on relaxing your mind so much that you do doze off...
If you do find it helps you sleep, then why not do it before bed?
You don’t need to meditate for a whole hour, start off with 5-10 minutes, or a few minutes a couple of times through out the day. It’s better then nothing and a great start, as time goes by start to increase the minutes.
Maybe set a goal, eg: 5 minutes every day for the first week, 7 minutes each day for week 2 etc etc.
A few things you can focus on are:
1. Breath - observe your breath, notice the sensation of air entering and exiting your nostrils, don’t try to control it, just try to stay aware of it.
(Connecting to your breath is one of the best ways to come back to the present moment)
Another way that you can use the breath to meditate is by counting your inhalations and exhalations, or breathing in for a count of 4 and exhaling for a count of 5.
2. Imagine a peaceful place (rainforest, beach, garden)
What ever floats your boat… Imagine yourself sitting peacefully at that place, and hear the sounds of where you are, breath it all in and stay in your peaceful place. Once again if a thought comes up, go back to your place.
3. A word (love, joy, happiness, peace, gratitude)
Pick a word that resonates with you, and repeat it in your head, focus on the feelings of that word, and see the word in your mind, FEEL the feelings of that word and stay with it. (This is a great way to change a negative state of mind/feeling, into a positive)
As you get better and become more confident with your meditation it is ideal to try and stay still and resist the urge to scratch an itch or move your leg, but for now don’t focus too much on that, the more we focus on those things the harder they become, so if you need to move, then move and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Play some relaxing music, burn some essential oils or incense, dim the lighting, chuck a blanket over yourself… Set the mood!
You can also try a guided meditation. I find these really helpful. Use Google or YouTube to search guided meditations for mindfulness, or for anxiety… or whatever it is that you need that day.
Lastly - be gentle, kind and patient with yourself! You are capable, worthy, and are a beautiful being who has all the skills necessary to practice meditation and fulfill any desire or dream that you wish.
Just remember, if you can think it you can achieve it!
Lots of love & positive vibes
Lisa - Whispa Wellness
Lisa is a qualified Remedial Massage therapist & Yoga instructor available in Sunshine West.
For more information visit
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0423 855 787