Meditation, aka quieting your mind
Posted on 18th September 2019 at 08:19
It’s been a while since we wrote about meditation – July 2016 to be precise – and it’s been interesting to watch how it’s gradually become more “mainstream.” You can find the post here.
Despite this, there’s no doubt that meditation does still retain its slightly hippy’ish connotations, as well as being the butt of many jokes and caricatures. This is such a shame as never has it been needed more.
At the very least, meditation provides a simple antidote to the ever increasing pace of modern life. It allows us to hit the “pause” – or “reset” – button giving a little time away from our own particular stresses and strains. Even better, this short time away brings with it a greater objectivity, so we can then view our lives from a calmer and less subjective perspective. And that’s without all the benefits it brings to our bodies.
With all of these good things, why is there still such resistance to it?
Well, in our experience, it’s because it’s seen as taking too long and being too complicated. Not to mention requiring years of practice, sitting in an uncomfortable cross legged position, to be even mildly proficient at it. So people give up on the idea before they’ve even started.
True, it can be all these things, but it can also be incredibly simple and easy to do. Yes, really!
To start with, we’ve found that talking about quieting the mind, rather than meditation, reduces the scariness factor greatly for clients. Almost magically it becomes something they could do and so they’re already on their way without even realising it. There’s nothing like a bit of psychology to move things along…
If you’re still not convinced – and we can feel the scepticism from some of you reading this (!) – here’s a very quick and simple technique we often suggest to clients.
To start with, the good news is that there’s no fixed time. It can take as long as you want it to. A few minutes or longer.
Nor does it involve any awkward or uncomfortable postures.
And the best bit is that it can be done anywhere and so fits into the busiest day.
Then here we go.
Find a quiet place, ideally where you can be alone. It doesn’t matter where it is, so long as you feel comfortable and relaxed there.
Sit down and make yourself comfortable, ideally with both feet flat on the floor and your hands in your lap. In other words, without crossed arms or legs.
Now, focus on your breathing. Take nice slow – and deep – breaths in and out.
And, as you do, let your body relax. Notice how your body feels lighter and your mind feels much calmer.
Then just continue focusing on your breathing.
If any thoughts pop into your mind let them pass straight through and float away.
Enjoy feeling peaceful and light.
Stay there as along as want to and, when you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.
Have a good stretch and smile to yourself.
Hurrah, you did it and can now get on with your day.
So what was difficult about that?!?
Go on, try it, we dare you…
As we’ve already said – but it really does need to be emphasised – it’s NOT about how long you do. It’s that you’ve actually done it. Pushed the “pause” – or “reset” – button and given yourself a little time outside the hurly burly of modern life.
By “pattern interrupting” – if you want a more technical term – you’ve stopped yourself from rushing from one thing straight on to the next. Just as important, you’ve stopped yourself from trying to micro manage every aspect of your life and given things time to sort themselves out. And, while this can also sound a bit hippy’ish, it’s amazing what WILL sort itself out if we just give it – and ourselves – a little time to do so.
The most common comment we hear from clients is that they find it hard to ignore any thoughts which pop into their minds. Well, there’s a really simple way to deal with these. Just tilt your head slightly back. That’s it. This moves your attention to the spot between your eyes and magically turns your thoughts off. Try it and see!
This is such a quick and easy technique that it can be used to provide a natural break between tasks. And not only those that require a lot of concentration or are highly charged. It can easily be done during the working day and, instead of closing your eyes, simply focus on a spot somewhere in the distance. This will have exactly the same effect and then just take a few deep breaths. It really can be that simple.
As always, the choice is yours.
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