Courtesy of Q8TiLiCiOuS
Meditation is a process whereby you sit in a quiet place and still the mind with an anchor such as breathing or a mantra (e.g. ‘OM’). It is a way to manage stress and is also used for relaxation purposes.
Meditation can be intimidating for those who feel they can’t sit still and stop their thoughts from running rampant. However, there are different forms of meditation, and these include a walking meditation, guided imagery/ visualisation, mantra-focused meditation, or mindfulness meditation. It’s about selecting the best form of meditation for yourself.
Select the best form of meditation for yourself.
A walking meditation is about choosing a focus during a walk. The focus could include the natural swing of your arms or your heel touching the ground. Pick one aspect of your walk and stay focused on that as a way to keep you centred or grounded.
Guided imagery/visualisation gives you an image or a picture focus. You might picture or imagine a beach scene, a Japanese garden, your safe place, or a scenic park. Whatever elicits a relaxation response or makes you feel safe, choose this as your visualisation exercise. Ensure you use all five senses to create authenticity.
If choosing a mantra as a focus in your meditation, you could have an affirmation such as ‘relax,’ ‘I am calm’ or ‘OM’ (an Indian sacred sound) that relates to sacredness and wisdom. These mantras allow you to still your mind and be centred in the present moment. By focusing on the present, you can relax your body and release all the tensions of the day.
Mindfulness meditation is about noticing your thoughts without judgement and continuing to focus on your anchor whether it’s breathing or a focusing on a sound. You become aware of any persistent thoughts that come up and continue to relax the body and mind.
Practising regularly can have its benefits to manage stress and elicit a relaxation response. Any skill takes practise. You can start with small amounts of time of 10-20 minutes once a day or more often if you build towards that habit. It depends on your lifestyle.
You can meditate at whichever times are most suitable. It could be first thing in the morning, during your lunch breaks, or at night right before you sleep.
Conditions for Meditation
For meditation to be effective in managing stress, you need to have the following conditions:
- Be in a comfortable position (sitting, standing or lying down, depending on your comfort level)
- A quiet and calm setting
- Focused attention (an anchor or focus such as breathing, mantra, or sounds)
- Relaxed and deep breathing.
Having these conditions above can ensure you become relaxed, which will assist in managing your stress levels on a consistent basis.
If interested, you can go to the website below to listen or download a range of meditations:
To conclude, meditation comes in many forms. The important point to make is that you need to select the type that suits you and your lifestyle. Good luck!