Feeling overworked or weighed down by the stresses of life? Learn this simple way to relax wherever you are.
You can use meditation to mentally go on vacation whenever you want, without spending a dime of your money.
Take note of those who meditate on a regular basis. You’ll find that they are more easygoing, clear-minded, calmer and more “in the moment” than the average person. Meditation allows you to focus inward, quiet your mind and emotions, and get centered so that you are more self aware and mellow in the face of whatever chaos may be going on around you.
Meditation may vary from one person to another. For one person, it may involve prayer and reflection; while for someone else, it may be more like deep breathing and chanting. Whatever the method, meditation is something more of us should be doing in this stress-filled world.
So why aren’t more people meditators? Some people can’t stand to be still; they have this nagging drive to keep busy at all costs. “Busy-ness,” to them, equals productivity. True, hard work pays off and can help you to become successful, but overwork can lead to burnout, illness, weight gain and strained personal relationships.
The fact of the matter is that the busier our lives are, the more rewarding a moment of real peace can be. Meditation has been proven to be very beneficial in conditions such as depression, mood and anxiety disorders, asthma, cancer, sleep problems, hypertension and headaches.
Simple Meditation Exercise
Embrace the Quiet
Whether you prefer to unwind in your bedroom, office, car, at the park or on a beach, find a comfortable and quiet place of solitude where you’re least likely to be disturbed. Shut off your cell phone and computer, too.
During your quiet time, it’s also important to be completely still. Close your eyes, quiet your thoughts and sit or lie still. If your mind begins to wander, focus your thoughts on where you are in the present – not worrying about what’s in the future or what has happened in the past. Remember, we should only be concerned with today, being our best selves, and deal with tomorrow when it arrives.
Pay Attention to Your Breathing
While in your “secret place,” begin to focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. When you consciously breathe this way, you’ll begin to feel more at ease. Stress causes muscle tension, shallow breathing, blood pressure irregularities, and the like – but deep, controlled breathing helps you to regain control of your body and your emotions.
Let “It” Go
Whatever your “it” is, you’ve got to release it. Whatever issues or problems are hounding you, imagine that they are being dispelled every time you exhale. Then imagine that you are inhaling peace of mind and a sense of joy as you breathe in. Again, remain in the present and don’t allow anything negative to fill your space during this time.
As your time of meditation comes to a close, you will be very relaxed to the point that you may begin to fall asleep, which is quite alright. A few winks is an extra bonus, to allow your body and mind to rest and recharge. If you’re still awake, now is a good time to turn your focus outside of yourself to God, giving thanks for this moment of clarity and peace and just seeking communion with your Creator in prayer. An attitude of gratitude in all things (not just during meditation) keeps you humble and calmer, and telling others “thank you” makes for better relationships as well.