By Hope McCann, RN
Hate to meditate? I am right with you.
I make it part of my “to do” list every day but most of the time meditating, ( like exercise ) is somehow often left undone and moved to the list for the next day!
Every so often, first thing in the morning with the best intentions, I start with my meditation. I am good for about three days, then by the 4th morning, all my good intentions lose out over the snooze button. Time passes and before long I am resolute to try it all again but I just don’t seem to stick with it.
It’s so crazy that it could be a scene in the movie, Groundhog Day. This has been going on with me for forever it seems. But why?
We all know the multitude of benefits that await us when we commit to a meditation practice. So what is holding me and so many of us back?
Just like any ardent golfer might, we resort to the typical “excuses” to beg off from meditating. I have even used some of them myself.
Here are a few examples:
“It is so boring to meditate.”
“ I can’t sit still”.
“ My mind just won’t stop talking.”
“ I fall asleep.”
“ I don’t have time to meditate.”
and so on…
Nonetheless, if it does sound familiar there is still hope!
Just like anything you prepare for in this life, there is usually a “plan B” and it is the same for meditation. Here are some suggestions for developing your Plan B.
Have an open mind and tell ourselves we can do this meditation thing. Be positive!
Know your options. Would you like to start a classic meditation practice or perhaps utilize guided imagery after passive relaxation? Free apps are available from numerous vendors and even CD’s from the local library.
Beyond these, you could try mindful mediation when performing self-care, at mealtime, while walking, and even while listening to music. Let me explain just a little about these mentioned.
How about classic seated meditation? Find a quiet, comfortable place that is free from interruption. If you need to use the floor and posture is a problem, use the wall for back support and/or pillows to get comfortable but even a chair will do.
1. Be kind and try not to judge yourself or your thoughts. As any seasoned meditator will tell you, the thoughts will come and when they do, just let them go
2. Always come back to your breathing or recite a mantra aloud
3. Use a timer if you like and start with only a few minutes increasing the time with each session as you are comfortable
4. Hydrate afterward
5. Write about the experience in your journal
The passive relaxation method was introduced to me as an obstetrics nurse while certified as a Lamaze instructor. (Lamaze incorporates relaxation and breathing techniques to manage contractions during childbirth in lieu of anesthesia.) This method was as helpful for both the moms and even dads in providing rapid relaxation when practiced.
(A modified version of passive relaxation is also a popular form of induction for hypnosis normally conducted while a person is lying on their back with limbs uncrossed.)
Here is a snapshot of this method.
Begin with several cleansing breaths. Then purposely tighten selective muscle groups for 15 seconds, starting with the forehead and then consciously relax the contracted muscles. Moving downward do the same through the rest of the body. Forehead, jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, abdomen, buttocks, legs, feet and toes then ending with another several cleansing breaths. Once you’re finished you’ll feel relaxed and receptive to begin and follow a guided imagery audio recording session.
Mindful Meditation is the act of being mindful (a focused presence) of each and everything you are doing. It can begin with your breathing upon arising and move from there to brushing your teeth or doing your morning care and continuing with your routine as you move through your day.
Being in the now and taking notice of the steps involved with all you do. Honoring your body by giving gratitude for each action and/or observation.
In my own life, I experienced a stroke while alone. To calm myself and deal with my realization of what was happening I immediately practiced this technique beginning with deep slow breaths until my limbs began moving again, my vision was restored and I was able to alert someone that I needed additional help.
I was grateful for the experience and the Mindfulness Meditation did work for me at that crucial moment!
Please know Plan B doesn’t stop here
A few years ago I was introduced to a wonderful device called Trinfinity8. It was developed and trademarked by Dr. Kathy Forti Ph.D. This subtle energy ( T8 ) device has been scientifically studied to produce results similar to those of meditation. After using the T8 myself I knew I had to add this unit to my Hypnosis and Reiki practice.
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