Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meditation to Calm the Chaotic Mind

As I've stated many times before, I've come to the realization that stress can make you sick. I truly believe that stress eats away at your insides like a cancer. If it is left to fester, it will eventually manifest itself in to some form of physical sickness whether it be an autoimmune disorder, heart or blood pressure problem, digestive issue or any other form of common illness that affects so many people today.

On my latest endeavor, I have stumbled upon a new favorite pastime: meditation.

This is what I've learned about meditation: Many people meditate. Some without even knowing they're doing it. There are many forms of meditation. There are people who meditate in accordance with their religion, there are those that do it to enhance their spirituality and there are those that do it for their own personal reflection. I wanted to try it to see if it would help work on my stress levels.

Everyone has stress. No matter how hard we try to make our lives less stressful, there are things that happen in life that are just beyond our control. I've come to realize that it's not how much stress you have in your life but how you deal with it that's important.

Now I could jump on the most popular bandwagon and choose a vice such as smoking or drinking to help release anxiety. Or, I could inhale a carton of Breyers Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with a side of double chocolate brownies. Instead, I've decided that I want to live a healthy life and really find relief from stress instead of just delaying it as the above options have always done for me. (Or add to it in some cases.)

So, I started researching meditation and decided to try my hand at it. I found a few tutorials online & decided it couldn't be that hard. Or could it?

At first I sat there trying to concentrate on my breathing as I read was the most popular route for beginners. I got nowhere. I really just sat there concentrating. I never drifted off in to nothingness. I never had any self reflection. So, I read on and decided that I was going to just assume the traditional meditation pose, put on some lovely meditation music I found on Youtube, and I got comfortable on my living room floor. I made sure there were no distractions and I decided my goal was just to sit there and relax. I closed my eyes and imagined a sort of warm glowing light shining on me starting at the top of my head, then down my face & eventually over my entire body. As the light moved over my skin I made it a point to relax all of the muscles it touched. By the time it was at my toes I realized that I was extremely relaxed. I just sat there in my comfortable position while maintaining good posture. I didn't force any thoughts out. If they floated in to my head I ignored them & they kind of floated back out. I felt more relaxed than I have in a very long time. I was completely conscious though & was aware of everything around me. It was just a state of relaxation for me. Maybe it wasn't even meditating.  All I know is that I slept great that night. I felt relaxed all over. Even my muscles and movements seemed more fluid than usual. If I got on a scale and weighed 10 pounds less than I did prior to the session I wouldn't really have been that surprised because I was so relaxed I actually felt lighter.

That was it. I was hooked. I've tried to meditate every day or every other day since. Even if it's not true meditation, it's a moment for me to unwind, relax, and take a few moments out of my day to just "chill out".
I love stress relievers and relaxation techniques that are as simple as this. They don't cost any money. You can do them anywhere and for me, they're effective. I'm going to continue my research on this because I am enjoying this practice so much. As I learn more, I'll share more.
Until next time my faithful reader, be well!