Although meditation and relaxation techniques have been practiced for millenniums, it can seem daunting to someone who has never tried it.
Meditation can be a very helpful and easy way to relieve stress or anxiety, strengthen concentration, improve health, and for psychic development. So if you’d like use meditation to enhance any of those aspect in life, here are a few tips:
Silence is key, but it can be difficult to achieve. Unless you live on acreage in the country it can be a challenge to find a tranquil place, but you have to try your best. Find a quiet room in your home or a serene spot at a park or beach where foot traffic is least expected – especially the pitter patter of little feet or paws. Ultimately, you may not be able to escape every nearby noise but don’t avoid meditating just because you can faintly hear cars outside of your home because your peaceful state of mind will eventually block it out.
Timing is important. It’s best to meditate during an active part of your day rather than right before you get into bed to sleep. Your energy is in motion during the day and you want to capitalize on that. Plus, you can’t really feel the benefits of revitalization when you are sleeping. Try to do it around the same time each day so it becomes a routine and you will find that your mind and body yearns for that special time to relax every day. A session should last at least 15 minutes but it can go longer if you feel it is more beneficial.
Which leads to Frequency. Meditation should be done at least once a day each week, but it can be done more often than that. Some people like to start their days with a quick session before work and again when they return home in the evening. It’s ok to skip a day, but you will notice a decrease in your energy when you have not relaxed in several days.
Positioning is another element of meditation. Laying down in bed may lead some to fall asleep because that’s what our mind and body are accustomed to doing in that position and furniture. Sitting in the lotus postion with your legs crossed is a common posture, but personally I feel that crossing the legs might constrict or block energy from flowing. I consider sitting in a chair with your feet touching the floor a comfortable position that keeps your posture straight and energy in motion.
Meditation aids can help put one’s mind at ease making them calmer and able to achieve total relaxation. Beautiful flowers and plants, unscented white candles, and inspiring artwork can set the right mood. You can also burn incense but try not to use an aroma that is strong because it can be distracting (the same applies for scented candles). Toss a few grains of sea salt in all four corners of the room (or in all four directions if you’re outside) to cleanse the area. Music can also be helpful, but make sure it is soothing like a soft instrumental song rather than loud music with lyrics that can interfere with concentration.
Now you can finally close your eyes, slowly take three deep breathes, and begin to relax. The reason for your meditation will determine how you proceed. If you want to alleviate stress, contemplate how you can achieve harmony with a positive solution. If you want relief from physical pain, imagine that pain slowly dissipating to a manageable level or fully dissappearing. If you are suffering from cabin fever imagine yourself in the summer sun on a sandy beach. You must set an intention and reassure yourself that you will resolve whatever issue is troubling you. A session is complete when you feel totally at ease, but remember to slowly come out of your relaxed state – although you feel invigorated don’t jump up out of the chair.
Continual meditation is a simple and positive way to attain physical and mental well being along with allowing yourself a little a bit of “me time” to concentrate on yourself.
There are different methods of meditation and lots of books on the subject. I encourage people to find a book or a class that suits their needs and helps them achieve the level of relaxation and spiritual growth that they desire.