Don’t Be Stressed About Meditation…

Meditation is a remarkable way to practice mindfulness, relieve stress, relax, and is an integral part of PTSD therapy.  Easy, right?  Maybe for some, but if you are like me your mind is racing and a thousand thoughts are crossing paths at the same time.  Why is this so hard???  The important thing is to not give up.  Don’t do it!  We got this!

This is what my meditation time generally looks like… I find a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that I fall asleep, and I begin to concentrate on breathing.  Breathe in for five counts, breathe out for six.  That’s it…breathe in one, two…breathe out one, two fish, red fish, blue fish, wow the kids are growing up, can’t forget that meeting tomorrow, did I send in the field trip money?  ACK!  I’m supposed to be breathing.  Start over.  Comfortable position.  Breathe.  Focus on my visualization.  I see a creek, the creek is flowing softly by.  I wish the citizens of Flint had a clean creek.  I need to read that article again to see if I can write a letter or donate water.  Something has to be done!  ACK!  Start over.  Comfortable position. Breathe. Visualize.  Creek.  Creek is babbling.  Who is that talking outside?  Why are my dogs barking?  Ugh I need to check on that… Does any of this sound familiar?

Meditation takes practice.  Yes at first it may seem impossible but the benefits are astounding.  The science behind meditation tell us that it decreases worry and anxiety, enhances self-acceptance, improves resilience against adversity, increases information processing, aids with better decision making and problem solving, reduces blood pressure, lessens PMS symptoms, and increases longevity. (www.liveanddare.com)  And that’s only a partial list!!!  Wow!! I definitely want to continue working at this.  I want this mind clear…I want this head completely empty!  Oh, wait a minute…

I began looking for books that might help me in this endeavor.  The one I am currently reading is “Meditation for Beginners: A 22 Day Program” by Vern Lovic, MA.  What I like about this particular book is there is no pressure on HOW to do it… Sit this way.  Don’t sit like that.  Concentrate on Buddha.  Concentrate on Christ. So much pressure!  This is a basic guide that concentrates on what works (and doesn’t work) for you.  It’s easy to understand and follow and I like where this road map is going.  After getting the basics down, I can feel free to incorporate deeper meanings and disciplines into it, but only if I want.  As Mr. Lovic says, “It’s up to you!”

There is also plenty of guided meditations on YouTube to experiment with, as well as phone apps that you can use.  I have an app on my iPhone called Relax Melodies.  It is a free app that allows me to play background sounds while I meditate.  I can choose sounds like thunder, white noise, monk chants, a cat purring, or any combination.  I personally like thunder, wind, and rain on the roof.  There is also a vacuum choice in case I need my pets to leave the room. Just kidding…sort of…

Do you have any meditation advice?  Feel free to share your experiences!  Let’s relax…

Much love and healing to you all.

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