Do you ever wish you could calm your mind or quiet the constant chatter going on in your head? Patients often share with me symptoms such as “anxiousness” or “mind racing.” They state that these feelings make it difficult to focus or finish daily tasks, or their ability to get restful sleep.
Our Brains Are Overwhelmed
I often say when I feel this way, “I have too many browsers open.” I try to consciously shut down or close each thought — acknowledging the thought and letting it go. I have found meditation or yoga breathing very helpful for myself and recommend these relaxation techniques to my patients daily.
All of us, small children included, have so much stimuli coming at us every minute of every day. This is especially true as it relates to the huge amount of time we spend on a device and the self-inflicted need to respond immediately to a text or email or phone call. It makes it difficult to just sit or just be.
How Meditation Can Help
Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique — such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity — to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can use it to relax and cope with stress by refocusing your attention on something calming. You may find you come away from meditation with clarity and renewed focus.
While meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can certainly provide some much-needed space in your life. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make better choices for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And the most important tools you can bring with you to your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable place to sit. Bonus! You don’t need any extra gear or an expensive membership.
When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long-lasting benefits into our lives.
Try This Self-Guided Meditation
Meditation is simpler (and harder) than most people think. Read these steps, make sure you’re somewhere where you can relax into this process, set a timer, and give it a shot:
- Take a seat: Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
- Set a time limit: If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or 10 minutes.
- Notice your body: You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, you can kneel — all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.
- Feel your breath: Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.
- Notice when your mind has wandered: Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered — in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes — simply return your attention to the breath.
- Be kind to your wandering mind: Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back.
- Close with kindness: When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.
That’s it! That’s the practice. You focus your attention, your mind wanders, you bring it back, and you try to do it as kindly as possible (as many times as you need to).
Beginner Meditation Class at Live Well
We feel so strongly that this practice can change how we handle stress and maybe even help with reducing our daily stressors by making better choices for ourselves and our families. In order to share these benefits with our Live Well community, we are hosting a beginners’ guide to meditation on August 5 at 2 p.m. at Live Well led by Annette Rugulo.
Annette Rugolo has been teaching Inner Diamond classes since 2002. She has experienced transformation in her own life and has been helping others transform their lives with this powerful visualization. During her presentation, you will learn how to consciously connect with your higher self and how to access and use the Quantum Colors of the Universe to assist you in calming your emotional and mental bodies and in raising your vibration.To learn more about Annette and her work, please visit annetterugolo.com.
Additional Support for Chronic Stress, Brain Fog, and Mental Fatigue
If you’re looking for answers around why you feel so overwhelmed, anxious, tired, stressed, or foggy, functional medicine can be a great tool. Contact us to learn more about how we can uncover the root cause of your health challenges and get you feeling better.