In turbulent times, whether it's life threatening weather, terrorist attacks, confrontational politics or economy related, the number of words expressed on these topics can be overwhelming. Sentiments supportive and oppositional to the many sides of such issues are voiced on TV news programs, in newspapers, on social media channels, in the workplace and at social gatherings. The words it seems, flow endlessly. The words can add up to undesirable stress to add to our already stress filled lives.
Last week's blog focused on breathing to help you bring balance and calm whenever you find yourself in stressful situations. I shared how regular, easy breathing when challenged by stressors such as anxiety, fear and pain could be maintained using a calm, practiced approach to the breath, in any stressful situation.
This week, I'd like to suggest adding 'meditation' to the toolbox of stress relievers as a way of maintaining balance and calm in our lives. Meditation is a silent practice - no spoken words - that combined with focus on the breath is one of the simplest ways to achieve the desired balance and calm.
Research has shown that even 10-15 minutes of meditating per day, for several weeks, produces detectable, positive brain wave changes, resulting in reductions of stress, anxiety, and an increased sense of well being.
Sitting in a comfortable cross legged position with a straight back and hands resting gently on the legs in a traditional yoga hand position (chin mudra) with first finger and thumb touching and palms facing up with the other three fingers out is the most typical way to meditate. But, sitting in a chair with back straight and feet flat on the ground and hands lying gently on the lap, works just as well, and also effective is walking meditation in a natural setting.
It's not about clearing our mind, but rather about focusing our mind and observing it when our mind wanders. Becoming familiar with our own mind and noticing where it naturally wanders is part of the practice, bringing it back to the focus whenever it wanders. Focusing on the breath or focusing on the universal sound 'Om' are two common techniques. Whatever is your preferred method of meditating, consistency and practice will make it the most helpful in alleviating stress and maintaining balance and calm in your life.
My you be blessed with a calm and balanced week.
Namaste and Love,
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
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