Research shows that meditation helps reduce anxiety and stress. It helps reduce blood pressure and enhances focus, memory and learning. It helps you get a better night’s sleep and increases your creativity. You will have a deeper sense of inner peace. Most likely your physical health will improve as well. Mine does every time I meditate.
To get the most out of your meditation, try the following things.
1. Do 5-10 minutes of deep breathing. Focus on your heart. Ponder on the people and things you appreciate most. This simple technique yields huge results. Click here to view a HeartMath video of a live demonstration. You will see how an untrained person reaps immediate results as shown on a heart monitor. Learn about what researchers call heart coherence. It has powerful healing effects.
2. When your mind wanders, simply refocus on your meditation practice (breathing, relaxing, visualizing, appreciating) without self-judgment. Removing self-criticism helps you to continue to move into a deeper state of relaxation instead of getting frustrated.
3. Set an energetic boundary. Create an imaginary barrier around you to keep your energy in and other people’s energy out during meditation. For example, I imagine a curtain drawn around me like they have in hospital rooms. Or if there is really chaotic energy around me, I imagine I am in an armored car. Feel free to create your own metaphors.
4. Imagine peaceful scenes.
Pretend you are in a place where you feel peaceful, protected and soothed. Imagine all the colors, the sounds, the sights, and fragrances. Touch things that bring you into a peaceful feeling. For example, I like walking through the forest, and when I come to the big tall oak tree with a carpet of moss at the base, I reach down and feel the soft cushion. I love to soak in the vibrant green color of the moss.
5. Relax your muscles.
• Give your muscles permission to relax, especially your jaw muscles. Those muscles are used more than any other muscle in the body. Allow your eyes to soften, like when you are looking at someone or something you are fond of. Say to yourself silently: Soft belly, soft eyes. Repeat this several times.
• Roll your eyes to top of your head and gently leave them there.
• Start at the top of your head and make your way down to the tips of your toes. Focus on each muscle group, while you breathe deeply. Say silently, “Relax and let go. Relax and let go. Relax and let go.”
• Allow your teeth to separate. Let your tongue drop from the roof of your mouth. Relax the base of your tongue. Soften the back of your neck. Let your shoulders drop. Keep breathing deeper.
6. Repeat a word or a sound over and over again that brings a feeling of peace.
• Examples: Peace, calm, soothing, kind, love, caring, compassion, the names of God, a favorite scripture.
7. If your thoughts continue to race, count backwards from 500 by 7.
8. Watch a video of soothing nature pictures.
9. Listen to slow calming music @ 60 beats per minute. It helps your heart slow to 60 bpm.
If you prefer a guided meditation, click here to listen to a sample of the CD, “A Journey into Wholeness.” This CD walks you through breathing and relaxation processes for 12 minutes. Affirmations help you heal, manage emotions, and raise self-esteem. Receive help to go access wise answers to your most important life questions. The narration is set to soothing music at 60 beats per minute, composed by Steven Mark Kohn, Director of the Electronic Music Studio, Composition Faculty, The Cleveland Institute of Music. CD total time: 62 minutes.
Contact me, Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor. Offices in Atlanta and Blairsville, Georgia.