All things that, (especially over the last year) we experience as humans. Whether a child or adult, a student or working full time, rich or poor, stress is part of life. Stress can be good, but too much can wreak havoc on our mind, body and hormones.
So what do we do about it? An easy, accessible tool for everyone is meditation.
It is a practice that has been utilized for years, by all religions and cultures. For something to be around that long, usually means it works! Meditation can bring calm, peace and balance, even if for a little while, reducing stress on your system.
There are many different ways to mediatate, and none of them are better than the other. The best kind of meditation is the one that works best for you, and that you can maintain consistently.
Let's go through some different types:
Guided-this is when you have someone else guiding you through meditation. Good examples of this can be found on YouTube, as well as the Calm or Headspace app
Mantra-for this type, you choose a mantra or affirmation that you want to use, and repeat for a certain amount of time or repetitions. Using mala beads can help with this type of meditation, keeping track of your repetitions on each bead.
Walking mediation-or any activity can be used as a meditative experience. Walking labyrinths is one way you can integrate this type of mediation. Getting out into nature is also an excellent way to connect.
Qi-gong/Tai chi/Yoga-similar to walk meditation, using mindful movements can be a good way to keep your mind centred without thoughts running away on you
Tapping- Exactly what it sounds like, tapping on certain areas of the body and using mantras can be helpful to self-regulate. Look into EFT tapping for my guidelines on how to integrate this type of meditation.
Body Scans-starting at either the head or feet, this type of mediation has you focus on one part of your body at a time, and addressing any tension or stress you feel there.
Writing/drawing-some people find stream of consciousness writing (just write whatever comes to mind) or doing activities like drawing or painting to help calm the mind.
My Meditation Practice
My practice changes a lot. I like to try new things and change it up every once and a while. When I was in chiropractic school, we actually had a mind-body elective that opened my eyes up to all sorts of fun things!
Currently, I start each morning with a gratitude practice. I choose 3 things I am thankful for, and I write them down. Next I read the daily passage from the Daily Stoic, then finish off by doing some sort go guided meditation. Right now I am listening to Bob Baker's mediations on Spotify. At the end of my day, I usually light a candle, get out my journal and do a 5x55 affirmation entry. This is writing the same affirmation 55 times, 5 days in a row. 5 is supposed to have significance in numerology, plus it helps ingrain the affirmation in your psyche.
Meditation can help reduce blood pressure, lower heart rate, decrease respiratory rate and put the body in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). It can also help manage anxiety or worry, turning your attention to positive thoughts, and stopping the anxious mindset.
Regular meditation can make you life better, and it’s such a simple thing to try. If you want help, you can try using apps like I mentioned above, specific playlists on YouTube or Spotify or you can even join a class or try a hypnotherapist!