It certainly has helped me to feel more at peace, less stressed and more at ease with what goes on in my life.
The problem when you first start to meditate it is really hard to sit still and not let your mind wander. Even now, I find myself feeling restless if I’m asked to be still, focus on one thing and let my thoughts run across my mind like a teleprompter for more than 15 minutes.
After all, the reason I meditate is to get my day started right feeling confident and at ease to take on the day and to help me get grounded when I’m feeling out of sort and overwhelmed.
It is not to help me achieve enlightenment in a spiritual religious sense, which I wouldn’t mind at all and would be nice, but for me I do it more from a mindfulness sense. By mindfulness, I mean to be in tune with the present and the experience I am having, how I am feeling, so that I can be in charge of my thoughts and mind as oppose to letting it run my life.
Some may argue and define it differently, but for my purposes it is to help me attain peace of mind.
To help you get started, here are three simple techniques that I use to get my zen on.
Body Scan Meditation
This meditation process is exactly as the titles suggests.
To get yourself centered begin with a few deep breaths.
Then start at the bottom of your feet and notice how you feel. Do you feel any tension there and if so breathe into it, to loosen the muscles allowing to relax and soften.
Keep your attention there for a few moments before slowly and carefully shifting your attention to the top of your feet and repeating the process. Continue to move your attention up your body allowing your muscles to let go and relax where you feel tight and tense.
The beauty of this process is you can take as much time or as little time as you want. Typically I’d spend anywhere from 5-20 minutes doing this process.
You can do a quick laser scan of the body and focus straight in on an area that you feel pain or is tense and breathe into it giving it some love and softening the muscles around the area.
Once you feel complete, you can repeat the process and scan your body again. Notice any other parts you feel tension and again breathe into it allowing your muscles to relax.
Or you can take your time to focus on each area of your body, doing a full body scan from the bottom to the top or vice versa, whichever feels comfortable for you, working through your entire body.
One other thing I do right before I start the scan is to shower myself with white light. I imagine it shining down on me from the top of my head and through my entire body. During the process, as I breathe into an area where I feel tense, I also send extra white healing light to the spot.
The key to this process is allowing yourself to just let go of the tension you are holding throughout your body. It can help when you are stressed or is bogged down with things on your mind keeping you up at night.
The ‘Mindless’ Meditation
This may seem a bit contradictory to what we are trying to do, but the idea is to engage in an activity which you don’t have to utilize a lot of your brain power, it does not over stimulate your brain and it involves movement of some sort.
Examples of mindless activities include:
- Going for a walk
- Taking a shower
- Cleaning the house
The idea behind it is to be mindful and to focus your attention on whatever it is you are doing. Be present in the moment as you engage in performing the activity. Using your five senses to experience and appreciate and notice the flavours of life leaving your thoughts about the past and what you have to do next behind.
One other thing you can try is Free writing. Letting your stream of consciousness flow onto paper or onto your keyboard for 10 minutes.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Meditation
This is a simple, short and sweet new meditation I read about on a recent blog post from Tim Brownson, which the reference comes from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book ‘The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching’.
It utilizes a mantra approach, and I really like the phrases Thich Nhat Hanh has created and stringed together. I can’t help but smile and feel at peace after repeating the phrases in my head syncing it with my breathing.
Start by setting yourself up in taking a few diaphragmatic breaths and repeat the phrases below in order in time with your breath.
- In – Out
- Deep – Slow
- Calm – Ease
- Smile – Release
- Present Moment – Wonderful Moment
There you have it. I hope one of these techniques resonates and can help you get your zen on. Share with me what other ways of meditation or mantras you use to help you get a dose of your daily zen.
Author Bio – Theresa is an 80’s music lovin’, Old Fashioned drinkin’, freedom livin’ travel junkie sent to zap living a double life right outta you. Get your free insights on life lessons for a work in progress here.You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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