I have been trying to get into the habit of meditating to increase my peace of mind, clarity of thinking and to learn to calm my emotions. All worthwhile outcomes, don’t you think?
The problem is that the minute I close my eyes to meditate, everything that has been worrying or bothering me; every problem, debt, grudge suddenly comes front and centre and I end up being more stressed than I was when I started!
So, I decided to do some research on how a person can help to clear their mind before and during meditation so they get the maximum benefit. I’ve found some ideas that look good and am slowly working my way through the list.
Do you have the same sort of problem with meditation? Have you found something that works for you – perhaps something that’s not on this list?
If so, please let me know. My mind will be spinning until you do!
- This is something I learned during my ante-natal classes and had forgotten about it because it’s at least 100 years since my last pregnancy (well, 18 – but it feels like it could be 100!). By concentrating on making your breaths deep and even, you find that you can’t really concentrate on problems or issues.
- Make each breath the focus of your attention.
- As you breathe in, feel the oxygen circulating through your body. Feel it loosening and relaxing your joints and muscles.
- Can you feel the air feeding your organs – your stomach, your colon, your brain?
2- Be comfortable
- Let’s face it – nobody can relax and enjoy a meditation session if their back is aching, their legs are numb from being in a bad position or their bum is numb.
- Find the position that suits you best. I’m one of those lucky flexible people who can sit with her legs crossed for hours at a time without any issue. But not everyone can. Find your ‘best posture’ and stick with it. Aim for 15 minutes of comfortable sitting.
- Use cushions, dim the room, if it’s hot – turn on a fan or the air conditioner. Whatever you can do to increase your comfort – do it!
- Some people find that a cup of herbal tea before meditation helps to get them into ‘the zone’.
- Take a walk before meditation. Getting into the air and the sunlight can help prepare you for a clear mind. I personally find that walks are pretty meditative in and of themselves.
4- No distractions!
- If you have noisy kids or the television going in another room, meditation simply will not work. Meditate at a time when you can be alone – while the children are at school or napping; when the house is quiet and when you have at least 15 minutes all to yourself. This is your precious time and you deserve it so if you need to ask for help from your family to give you this space, go ahead and do it. A calmer more serene mother, father, sister or brother will be an outcome worth sacrificing 15 minutes for, right?
- Meditation music can be extremely helpful. More a series of calming sounds than actual songs, meditation music can give you something to focus on in much the same way that breathing exercises can. This can help you to keep your mind clear of distractions so you can concentrate on relaxing and healing during your meditation sessions.
5- Guided meditation
- My personal favourite. This is where a ‘teacher’ for want of a better word will lead you through the steps of your meditation. These can include meditations for the following reasons (just as an example – there are many more)
iii. Better sleep
iv. Loving life
v. Getting in touch with your feelings and what might be holding you back or sabotaging your happiness.
There are 2 wonderful free guided meditations on the stresstostrength.com website which you can find by clicking this link.
I hope this has been of some help – please feel free to share your own experiences and tips in the comments section of this blog.