It seems I am seeing a lot about meditation these days. Are we all getting so stressed that we are desperately looking for solutions? Perhaps – so how about incorporating some empowering stress management techniques into your day and creating a new routine? I can think of worse things to add to my day!
As someone who has studied meditation and is now a qualified meditation facilitator I have found that sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. No need to formally sit and attempt to reach a profound sense of stillness whilst mentally wrestling with what is often termed the ‘monkey mind’. I find beginning and ending the day with a little habit can be all that is required to bring some quiet perspective.
This is what I do each day – First thing in the morning (after I’ve fumbled around to switch off my alarm at 6am!) I lie back and close my eyes and think of three things I am grateful for. That’s it. It could be as simple as a warm, comfy bed; a roof above my head; the sound of rain outside while I’m inside; a holiday I’m looking forward to; a friend I’m going to see that day….whatever. This practice not only gets you practicing gratitude for the life you lead but it starts the day on a positive rather than falling out of bed with a sense of urgency and panic for all that needs to be done that day….I prefer a positive start!
The second thing I do is at the other end of the day, before I fall asleep. I take three long, slow, deep breaths – hold for a second – and then breathe slowly out again consciously allowing any tension in my body to melt away and telling myself that this day is done and its time to sleep and recharge.
You can actually do this second exercise anytime in the day – the power of taking a deep breath is profoundly calming and gives you space to stop and think if you catch yourself tense and on the verge of being upset and off balance. Try it. It works.
I read somewhere recently that you become good at things that you practice – this makes perfect sense to me. So rather than becoming good at being uptight and tense – how about becoming an expert at bringing calm to your day and having a positive start every morning! These techniques are incredibly simple – try them and enjoy the benefits.