Make meditation a part of your healthy routine
Beginning a regular meditation practice and activating your parasympathetic nervous system more often will help you feel calmer and enhance your well-being.
You can substitute any object of focus for the breathing portion of your meditation practice if you like. Things like a fire or candle flame, or using a mantra work well. A mantra is simply a word or phrase you repeat over and over. This becomes your object of focus.
When thoughts come in, and they will, just acknowledge them and let them go. It’s like watching leaves float down a stream with the current or clouds that pass by overhead.
Here are some tips to help you start a practice and create a habit:
- Meditate at the same time every day when you won’t be distracted.
- If you are a walker or runner, notice how your breathing keeps pace with your stride. That’s how I began, and pretty soon I wasn’t thinking about anything else.
- If you are going to sit while meditating, wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothes, in maybe a special chair or with a favorite cushion.
- Begin with what you think you can do … just a few minutes to start is fine.
- When ending your meditation, taking a deep breath or stretching can be helpful.
- Weave meditation into the fabric of your life, not just when you’re stressed. Meditation is a way of being rather than a technique. After some practice, using this technique will come naturally when you are stressed.
- Incorporate meditation into your daily life. Simply take a moment to connect with your breath while doing routine tasks such as arriving early for an appointment or standing in line at the checkout.
When you practice living in the present moment on a daily basis, everything in your life can be the same or even more stressful than before, but it won’t bother you so much. Feelings of distress are not usually directly related to the event or situation at hand, but rather our reaction to it. Stress comes from the thoughts we have about situation. Meditation can assist you in minimizing your reactions by keeping you focused on the present moment.
Your action step is to begin a regular meditation practice, so you can learn to minimize the stressful reactions that cloud your mind.
Bonnie Groessl is a best-selling author, podcast host, holistic nurse practitioner and success coach. Her mission is to educate, empower and facilitate your well-being while nurturing the mind-body-spirit connection. You can find links to her books, guided meditation audios, blog and podcast at www.bonniegroessl.com