As a massage therapist and energy worker, I put a lot of pressure on myself to put out a “zen” vibe to others. To be perfectly honest though, I have the knowledge and the tools to become and remain grounded, but I am just like many of folks in rest of the world when it comes to my ups, downs, spaz-outs, and whirlwind emotions. The struggle has been real when it comes to self-doubt and judgement about how much I am not focusing on harnessing the inner strength that I know lives within me.
I have, though, found some simple, do-able things you (yes YOU!) can do to integrate meditation into your life.
It is during the most stressful times that I find it amazingly important to spend 5 or even 1 minute shutting off my mind, and really just listening to myself breathe. That’s as easy as closing your eyes. Forget your to-do list (those can wait), no phone calls (silence that sh*&), and just really breathe.
“But how do I ‘just’ breathe, Kristy?” Truth is, I don’t use a certain style of breathing like ‘diaphragmatic breathing’ or ‘yoga breathing’. My answer is simple. In and out, people. In and out. Then, When you open your eyes…smile. Fake it if you have to. But smile. Find something you find funny and really SMILE. Think about something you hold dear and feel the love of that something within you, and surround yourself with it.
ONE TO FIVE MINUTES. This can be done at stop lights (with eyes open of course), right as you sit down at your desk, as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Brushing your teeth…..anytime or anywhere. No excuses. We all drive. We all brush our teeth… (hopefully). Set a reminder on your phone if you have to… oh then put it away for five minutes.
After you breathe, step two is finding a way to be mindful about setting your energy and intention up for the day by learning something new about your inner self and practicing it throughout your day.
Start at work
We all email, right? Sometimes WAY too much! How many emails do you write in a day? Read in a day? 10? 25? Well, before you start your daily “this meeting should have been a F*%#ing EMAIL, CARL!!!!!!” anger freak out, go here: The Daily Om
My wonderful mother signed me up one day during a hysterically crying episode of postpartum anxiety to receive these daily emails full of insights that helped me ground myself with purpose.
Madisyn Taylor authors this website and when you subscribe, you get wonderful emails each day as a reminder to consider yourself first. Through this webpage, there is also a series of free or donation-based courses that you can take ranging from ’21 day at home Yoga’, to ‘freeing yourself from people in your life who are energy vampires’, *f’ing Carl* .(that is the subject of a whole other post–people who DRAIN the every last shred of life out of you just by being in the same room).
In the book Handbook for Happiness: A 4 Step Plan For Resilient Living, the Mayo Clinic sums up that emotional and physical benefits of meditation are vast. It can help emotionally with stress management, imagination, creativity, tolerance and patience (cash reward for anyone who can teach me these), reducing negative emotions, increasing self-awareness and sense of being in the present.
Oftentimes, we overlook the effects that meditation has on illness and medical conditions.
“Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress…….” “some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Tension headaches”
LOADS of folks deal with these chronic issues, so why not arm ourselves everyday with the power of mind to DO SOMETHING about it? For free. With no bad side effects.
The power you have within you to change the vibes your giving off each day is remarkable. You just have to remember that it is there. It is important to realize that YOU and YOU only determine the course of how you handle situations. This information is key to starting each morning off with a bit of peace to face the day. You can take back the power to decide how you will feel and use that power to decide how you will react to each situation. Or… at least fake it until you make it!
Good luck and Namaste!