I believe that the most powerful force on the planet is the human mind. However, instead of using our minds to create, many of us are controlled by our own minds. The most obvious result of being controlled by your mind is stress. I’d like to suggest one technique to help you get control over your mind and that is meditation or awareness practice.
I won’t bore you with statistics regarding how stress can kill you or how stress related diseases are the number one killer of Americans. And you know that we cannot avoid stress. A certain amount of stress is good and needed to keep us alive.
In our modern culture, though, the amount of stress we experience can be crushing. Much of our stress comes from thoughts of fear and worry:
- How am I ever going to..
- I have to….
- I really need to..
- This sucks…
- I can’t believe this is happening…
- I hate this…I can’t stand this…I’m sick of this…
- Why does this always happen…
- I can’t deal with this…
- What if (this bad thing happens)
Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to deal with stress. When you read the word meditation, you might think of someone sitting in the lotus position chanting “Om”. You might think meditation refers to a particular religious belief system. It is much more than that. I have sat in Zen meditation alongside Catholic nuns and priests.
Meditation means awareness. Awareness of what your mind is thinking. You are present to what is going on now.
When we become aware of what our mind is thinking, then we can have detachment. Detachment allows us to see our stressful thoughts for what they really are: stressful thoughts making us stressed. This gives us the opportunity to choose what we think. This is the beginning of true freedom. We can learn to stop worrying ourselves or scaring ourselves to death, or at least, ill-health.
A daily practice of meditation can be profound and life changing. You may not have time nor the desire to develop a daily practice. That’s fine. What I’d like to do is give you a few simple things to do that can be very helpful when you are feeling stressed out.
- Basic technique: close your eyes and take some deep breaths while focusing on your breathing. Breathe deeply into your abdomen. This can be done just about anywhere, anytime. Try it right now. You’ll notice a change right away. You can say something to yourself, such as “I’m ok” or “calm” or “relax”. What you are doing is taking your mind off of what is causing you stress and focusing on NOW. Just for a few minutes, let go of the outside world.
- While driving: … please don’t close your eyes! See if you can let go of wanting your traffic situation to be different. Be present to what is. Most people drive unconsciously, their minds a million miles away. Try driving consciously. If you are stressed, turn off the radio or music. Notice the color of the car in front of you. Notice your surroundings, where are you? Notice the sky, the trees, the landscape.
- A more formal way to meditate: before bed or right after waking up, sit in a chair. Try to keep you back straight. Breathe deeply and count your breaths, starting with each inhale. Count to 10, then start over. Do it for 5 minutes. If you can’t do it for 5 minutes, do it for 3 minutes, or 1 minute.
- Focus on an object. It might be the flame of a candle, or a flower in a vase. Sitting on a bench in a park, it might be a tree.Breathe and simply focus on an object without trying to describe it, categorize it or have an opinion about it.
- Devotional meditation. It’s said that when you pray you talk to Spirit and when you meditate you listen. You can focus on Divine Love, simply allowing yourself to feel it. Or you might focus on a religious icon or a picture of a divine being.
Don’t worry about doing it right. The point is to get in the habit of letting go of the stressful thoughts, going inside and getting centered and grounded.
If you are interested in creating a regular mediation practice, I encourage and support you. Hypnotherapy can be helpful in developing the determination and motivation to practice. If you have questions or would like some coaching regarding meditation, feel free to call me or a free half hour consultation.
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TmanTed A. Moreno Personal/Small Business Coach Certified Hypnotherapist Specializing in Your Success www.TedMoreno.com (626) 826-0612