A friend shared this with me for those times when I have trouble sleeping.
A Monday meditation that can be your starting point for future mediations.
I have a big problem concentration, especially since the pandemic where I am not only more stressful but am getting a bit bored.
So meditation should be a great activity for me to do, right? Well ... I am finding that when I try to sit for a few minutes and let my mind relax and empty, I can't do it for more than a few seconds before I am thinking of something else!
I am sure that I am not the only one out there who has trouble mellowing out. Here is what I have learned over the past 12 months regarding meditation:
1. Find a comfortable position for you. We are told to sit upright with a straight back to meditate. But no sooner do I sit somewhere and straighten my back then I am thinking about how uncomfortable I am! For me, I like to lie down in a bed. I know we are told not to do that but it works for me.
2. If your mind wanders to something, don't get frustrated. Just pull back and continue as best as you can to empty your mind into a fog.
3. Sometimes 2 minutes work better than 5 or 10. I find that meditating in short bursts is easier than committing to a longer time.
4. Choose the time of day when you are most willing and able to meditate. Some people like to meditate when they first get up. Other prefer the afternoon. I like to try and meditate just before I go to sleep - because it helps me fall asleep. Find the time of day that works best for you.
5. Sometimes Music Helps. It doesn't have to be new age music - just something that you find relaxing.
Stress is one of the biggest problems facing Americans today, especially with the current pandemic. This article compiles responses from people from all walks of life, including numerous therapists and mental health experts, on how to combat stress and overcome it. Some of the points people have suggested include the following:
I compiled some fantastic comments different therapists, psychologists, social workers and others have sent me on how to overcome stress (there are 34 submissions already). A lot of people put a lot of effort into this, and I think your readers would really enjoy it. Some of the things people have brought up so far:
- Practice deep breathing exercises
- Develop strong relationships and let yourself be surrounded by your loved ones
- Practice mindfulness
- Take a trip in your mind with guided imagery
- Disconnect from technology
Read the full article here.
Chopra.com has just posted meditations to help us navigate through the holidays.
Melissa Eisler writes that, "The holidays are upon us again and this year they will look a lot different than years past. The holiday season is meant to be a happy time; it conjures up images of cozying up by the fireplace, baking gingerbread cookies, giving to (and helping) those in need, and stepping away from the day-to-day grind to focus on family and loved ones. But it can also come with a lot of stress, especially this year—worrying over extra expenses, staying healthy, and maintaining social distancing from loved ones. With all the changes this time of year brings, it can be easy to get caught up in this stress and lose focus on the essence of what the holidays represent: feeling and sharing joy, kindness, and gratitude for all that you have in your life."
She offers the following
A Meditation for Cultivating Joy
A Meditation for Cultivating Kindness
A Meditation for Cultivating Gratitude
Here are the steps for Cultivating Joy:
A Meditation for Cultivating Joy
The stress this time of year can sometimes leave you feeling exhausted, often zapping the joy that the holidays are supposed to bring. Meditating not only helps you be more joyful and present, but it can also help you spread joy (virtually) to those around you. And spreading joy, lifting others, and being jolly are central to the holiday spirit! Try these simple steps to cultivate that joyful, jolly feeling:
- Find a quiet area—this can be in a room in your house, an area in your garden, or next to the fireplace when everyone else has gone to sleep.
- Sit in an upright position. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
- Continue with five deeps breaths. Pay attention to how you are feeling, finding any discomfort or pain points and adjusting yourself to be more comfortable.
- Continue to breathe. Focus on the feeling of your chest rising and falling.
- Turn your attention to your thoughts. Your mind may be racing with your holiday to-do list; if so, visualize yourself crossing the items off and feeling accomplished. Know that you are taking this time for yourself, so that you can have the energy to tackle that list joyfully.
- Think of a holiday memory from your past when you felt deep joy. This could be a joyful holiday moment from your youth or from a recent memory. Focus on the details of that moment as you attempt to relive it in your mind, like you were watching a movie of that memory.
- Embrace the memory. As you bring that moment to the center of your consciousness, pay attention to the joyful emotions and sensations that you felt, the smells that you experienced (gingerbread and peppermint, perhaps?), and the rich tastes of the season. Stay with the memory for a while.
- Recreate those feelings in your life today. Perhaps this can be done with different people, a different location, and a different activity, but working to cultivate the same mood of joy for yourself and those you would like to share those feelings with.
- Take 10 deep breaths. Release that visual and take 10 deep breaths, inhaling to fill yourself with the holiday spirit of joy, and exhaling to send joy out into the world.
- Sit quietly. When you’re finished, sit quietly for a few moments before gently opening your eyes.
Practice this meditation daily, focusing on cultivating and spreading joy. With repetition, you’ll be able to tap into those feelings more readily, even when faced with the stress of the season.