Whether you can’t sleep, are too stressed or feeling anything else in between
Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t actually give us anything—even Buddha himself admitted so. And if there’s someone you should trust when it comes to meditation, shouldn’t it be Buddha?
So instead of asking what you can gain from meditation, the question should actually be: What could you lose with it? And the answer is practicing this allows us to let go of anger, anxiety, insecurity, fears and even depression—things we’re all so much better off without. And hey, if removing these negative aspects of life gives us more room to breathe, then that’s just the whipped cream on top of an iced Frappuccino.
For the nights you can’t sleep
When you hit the bed and your mind refuses to settle down with your body, things can get really frustrating. You end up checking how many hours of sleep you can still squeeze in before having to get up and start a new day, which starts an endless cycle.
The trick to falling asleep when your mind keeps running is to focus on something that’s more calming. So choose to focus on your breath, a sound like ”om,” a short prayer or a positive word like “peace.” It’s best if it’s something that you can recite out loud and repeat over and over. If you find yourself straying from the repetition than start again. Immerse yourself in routine.
And the days stress is at an all-time high
We all have those days at work that have us craving for 6pm and inviting friends for a quick drink (because you’re an adult that has to get up early the next day). But instead of ordering another round, maybe try meditation instead.
One of the more popular used techniques require, first and foremost, a comfortable sitting position. Once you’re there, plant your feet on the ground and put your hands on your lap like a proper gentleperson. Close your eyes and just follow your breath for a while and allow your mind to water. Let it think what it wants to think, don’t judge or change your thoughts. At the end of the process, you’ll know what you need to get done first and what you can set aside for the moment.
Or the moments you feel anxious
When anxiety starts to strike, experts say there’s only a 90-second window to intervene before a full-on panic attack occurs. So if you’re one of those people that panics often, be mindful and act as quickly as you can.
An effective practice to imagine a clear button at the center of your palm where your phone usually is. Press this button with your index finger of the opposite hand. As you press down, imagine that your stress response system is cooling down. Take a deep breath with each count to three and picture the numbers of your stress system in colors. On your final exhale, just open your eyes and come back to the present moment. Repeat it twice or thrice if it takes a while to work.
Most importantly, make meditation an everyday practice
Okay, it’s great when you know how to and what can calm you down, but meditation is best when done every day as opposed to just when the need arises. If done right, you’ll find yourself keeping your cool in situations where you used to scream in frustration.
So just breathe, close your eyes and focus.
Art Alexandra Lara