Inward and Upwards
Let's take a quick moment to understand the versatility and helpfulness of meditation.
The sheer suggestion of meditation pulls eye-rolls and full on rejection for a wide array of reasons. Some people have religious issues with it (I know...don't ask), others don't have the time, while most just don't really understand the practice and how it works. Media makes meditation seem like much more than it is.
Guess what? *drops to whisper* It's just sitting quietly.
Meditation allows you to shut out what's happening around you. It brings you to a place of peace and in most instances can give you clarity in a situation. I use it to get away. It's an escape.
For some, meditation is good posture, pretzel legs, special pillows, incense, guru's, and tapping into the "minds eye". It does not have to be that way for you. It can just be a moment you take to sit comfortably (or lie on your back like I do) and enjoy your favorite album, absolute silence, or your own thoughts.
Meditation or to meditate is defined as thinking deeply or focusing one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.
Let's focus on the relaxation bit.
Looking at meditation as a way of looking inward for our emotional needs, rather than to other humans, physical gratification, or material things may make it easier to understand why it's a helpful tool. In times of great stress, sadness, and anger; surrounding ourselves with positive thoughts, good music, calming scents, or absolute silence can bring us back together and allow us to see things or move past them more easily.
Preparation and Action:
- Handle any daunting tasks so your mind can be as clear as possible. Anything that can't be handled at the moment is not worth the stress or head-space.
- Carve out time so you're not rushing or watching the clock. But don't worry, if you can only spare five minutes, give that five minutes your all. It's OK to set a timer also; I personally go until the end of both sides of my favorite record (Back To Black).
- Pick a comfortable spot and position because pretzel legs and perfect posture are not for everyone. It's very important to be comfortable as being uncomfortable is the worst distraction. You want to move as little as possible to get the maximum affect. I either lay on my back or slouch super hard on the couch.
- Find your focus/center. Is this a thinking session or would you much rather not think at all? Music, for me, takes me out of my head so I don't think. Sitting in silence makes it a little harder to not be in my head, but when I need to be, silence is best. I think on things, or repeat a mantra of my choosing. "Better days are coming." is my favorite right now.
- End on a high note if you can. Meaning when you feel your session should come to a close, your record ends, or your alarm goes off; treat yourself. Eat something you like or watch a favorite show. Take it slow and ease yourself back into the "real world". Or, if you fell asleep, stay asleep. That nap is obviously much deserved.
Try it! Please. Just once.
I promise you won't regret it.