Photo by Amy Young
You may have noticed I have gone a little AWOL these past few days. I had to make life changing decisions, and move to another apartment, away from my comforts, away from my family, and away from my old self.
It’s never really easy for a routine person like me to make an impulsive move and rebuild my sense of productivity in a new environment. But it simply had to be done. This was the independence I was clamoring for anyway.
Getting adjusted is a such a pain.
There’s a lot to be done, coupled by the goals you set aside for the “Big move”, and I started to feel like a hamster in a wheel–running as fast as I can, getting nowhere. Adrenaline slowly fuels my anxiety and quite a ruckus, both positive and negative thoughts continue to bug me at night. It gets hard to get a good night sleep.
You know that feeling when you have to wake up early in the morning and your brain is still hyperactive? Even when you thought you’re already exhausted and coming home, lying on your comfortable bed would make you sleep faster, still, you find yourself changing different sleeping positions without sleeping at all.
It’s as if every time my brain says “Dude, I gotta go to sleep” my mind is always, “Oh no, you won’t.” and then the never ending stream of thoughts bedevil me.
I figured I need to restore some balance in my recently shaken up life so I decided to attend a meetup event that talked about meditation and law of attraction. The meeting dealt with the basic principles on meditation rather than the actual practice but you know, it was free and I’d like to do my meditation in private.
Meditation is and should be part of your morning and evening routine.
It clears your mind for the day, allowing you to laser sharp focus on what needs to be done rather than dwell on the self-limiting thought that there are a lot of things you haven’t done yet. Meditation calms you down, allows you to appreciate and be thankful for every little positive thing that happened during the day, promotes a sound and worry free mind that takes you off into a really good sleep. It promotes emotional healing, reduces stress and makes you a happier person.
“Praying is the time to ask and meditating is the time to listen.”
― Gabrielle Bernstein
So how do you meditate effectively?
Apparently, closing your eyes and thinking of nothing isn’t anywhere near meditation.
Create a Therapeutic Environment
After getting up on bed, go on and find a spot in your home where you feel most calm and safe from any distractions.
The bedroom is usually the last place I would want to meditate simply because the noise from the outside world is amplified each time I open the windows, plus there’s the strong temptation to lie down back to sleep.
You need an airy room because you’re going to do a lot of breathing.
If you’re living in the city, and it’s almost close to impossible to get fresh air into your space, maybe you can close your windows and turn the AC on. As long as there’s no struggle with breathing in a room, it’s perfect. You can even meditate in the bathroom as long as it’s clean and the ventilation is okay.
Light a scented candle to enhance the mood for meditation. Aromatherapy plays a great role during meditation. It balances your emotions, reduces stress and wards off the negative energy in the room.
There are suggested scents for different purposes. For example, if you’re getting ready for exams, it’s recommended to light some peppermint or cinnamon scented candles. I especially love vanilla and lavender scents. For someone who’s got trouble sleeping, these two are my personal favorite.
You can either choose a quiet environment or play an instrumental music. For me I love listening to Japanese zen instrumentals. It takes me from my apartment to a monk temple or a retreat space in the mountains.
With all these taking every little distraction off your shoulder, you’re now good to go.
It’s all about the posture. Effective meditation starts with a perfectly aligned back, either in a lotus or sitting position, whatever works for you. Do not slouch nor lean back.
A good straight back allows for wider lung expansion and therefore maximizes the amount of oxygen you breathe in. It relaxes your muscles and allow for a more effective spiritual experience.
Close your eyes and bask in the stillness of the moment. Clear your thoughts. It may not be easy especially if you have a lot of worries in your head. You just have to make a conscious decision to give yourself a break from those negativities.
Stop thinking about everything you have to get done for the day and stop obsessing over those you haven’t finished the other day. Focus on the now, this moment. Tap into your inner consciousness. Escape reality for a brief moment in time.
Let positive thoughts flow but do not linger around a single thought for it will most likely invite negative thoughts. For example, you can think about your goals, of things slowly picking up, then stop there and move onto another, because you can easily be redirected to a couple of What Ifs that may awaken your fears and regret, and you do not want those clouding up your stream of positivity.
Another example is being thankful for your loving family. It’s almost impossible not to think about what if your husband loses his job or if your kid gets sick next, because those are all possibilities in life we need to prepare for. However, those thoughts do nothing to optimize your meditation. It only amplifies your anxiety.
Don’t get lost in your thoughts.
In your meditative consciousness you are in control.
You are the master of your thoughts.
It won’t be easy at first but like other skills, this takes a lot of getting used to.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Just focus on your breathing. Keep it at a normal pace. Let your breathing keep you in focus.
If you start going around on a single thought, making mental pictures and even dialogues to combat the negative emotion, revert yourself back to breathing and thinking of nothing.
It takes a lot of discipline to do and think about nothing, but it’s always rewarding to be on top of your mind. Try meditation for at least a month, you’ll get addicted too.