Meditation for the Highly-Stressed Soul
There is nothing quite like meditating in the morning and evening to help you focus and prepare for your day effectively. However, if youve been in a high state of stress for a prolonged duration, there is no way you can turn your mind into an oasis of peace within 10 seconds.
Getting to that level can sometimes take years, but the comforting thought is that there are many ways to meditate. Its not all about quieting the mind and shutting out the world. Many people respond far better to meditation with words.
Here are few different ways to meditate. Try them all and pick the one that fits you best. Keep this list because your meditative needs may change after a while and you might want to try another way.
Playing some peaceful music is a wonderful way to start your journey of meditation. Try to stay away from songs. If youre someone who loves lyrics, your mind will automatically hook on to the words and youll be using your conscious mind instead of resting it.
Classical music is a good option. Choose familiar, uplifting pieces like Pachelbels Canon in D or the Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke. Theyre both commonly used for weddings, so youll recognize them instantly.
Let the music wash over you, and as images come into your mind, let them in and allow them out. It doesnt matter how many thoughts come. Dont fight them. Meditation is passive but its not meek. So, if negative thoughts come creeping, let them pass right through. Just sit back and listen to the music.
Though you dont want lyrics stuck in your head, it doesnt mean that you cant use words at all. You may love a fragment of a poem, or a line from a favorite book or even the Serenity Prayer used in 12-step programs. If these give you comfort and security, just sit in a quiet space and repeat the words you love over and over to yourself.
Start with just 30 seconds. Do that for 3 days and add another 10. Keep going till youre happy to meditate for 15-20 minutes. At this point, you may want to check in and see if youd like to try (or add) another form of meditation to your schedule.
We tend to lose ourselves in this fast-paced, material, ambitious world. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a comfortable life and having ambitions, you should treat it as a red flag if you notice that chasing these things have overtaken your time, sullied your pleasure in life and turned you into a different, unhappy person.
One of the goals of meditation is to be able to return to the essence of your nature, the best of you, which can only be brought out if you are not caught up in a vicious cycle of stress, exhaustion and hopelessness.
3. Guided Meditation
This has gained huge popularity in the last 7 years or so. There are several good apps for this like Headspace, Meditation Easy and Inscape. These are obviously extremely convenient as they are portable and have reminders built in.
You can also play with the settings so that you start with a very short period of meditation and work your way up when youre more able.
Some apps offer meditation for different types of stress. There are many more in the App Store and Google Play, so window shop as much as you want. You should also download the free ones that sound good to you so that you can take them for a test drive.
Of course, there are also certified meditation practitioners who can act as guides. This may cost more, but if you are in a highly wound-up, constant state of stress, you may want to book a few sessions with someone to help you start. Look around your area and ask for recommendations.
It would be a good idea to meet the person before you undertake something as intimate as meditation with them. When you call to arrange that, explain your needs and assess what they offer.
Though some movements have strict definitions of what meditation is, the world is increasingly cognizant of individual needs and comfort levels. Meditation for stress management shouldnt have hard rules because that will only pile on the pressure.
Do only what you can. Increase the duration of your meditation sessions only when you are comfortable. Accept that meditating will be harder on some days than on others. What you want to achieve is the ability to sit back quietly, with peace of mind and a light heart. You deserve that.