You recognise this frenzy: A screaming meltdown from your toddler because something (doesn’t matter if it’s a hairclip or a shoe or the President of the USA) is missing, someone needs to be fed, there’s a pile of homework and forms left untouched and due TODAY, there are errands that need to be run and your shirt is stained and needs a wash, pronto. Not to mention, dinner tonight hasn’t been sorted out and you have a dinner appointment with your husband and some company tonight and the baby sitter has just cancelled on you.
Only one word to describe the reigning emotion in your head now: Stress.
Of course meditation has been suggested time and time again to combat stress. And when the word “meditation” comes to mind, many people think “Ohmmmmmm”, monks, and calming, quiet pastures.
Here are some tips and tricks regarding meditation!
MEDITATION (Defined as a way of life where the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns)
The word meditation, is derived from two Latin words : meditari(to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation ‘medha’ means wisdom.
1. Choose a good time of the day.
I initially thought that I would meditate before bed because I figured it would help me sleep. Turns out, that actually defeats the purpose.
It’s much better to start the day with meditation, if only just a few minutes, because it’s all about achieving awareness and focus, not sleep.
Suggestion: Play around with time before settling in on a routine. It might take a few tries before you realize that you actually get a bigger benefit from meditation when you do it at a certain time over another.
2. Find a quiet place.
Since I have time during my day when there are no children in the house — and I know plenty of you aren’t at that stage yet — it’s admittedly not that hard for me to find a quiet place. But even when my entire house is a quiet place with no kids around, I can still be easily distracted. So, I’ve chosen a comfortable little spot just outside my bedroom that’s fairly secluded, which has forced me to truly focus on my breathing and nothing else.
Suggestion: Pick a spot that isn’t conducive to sleep. I made the mistake of trying to meditate in bed and I ended up just wanting to lay down and take a nap.
3. Prepare yourself.
I created a short routine before my meditation started, and it really only involves doing a few neck rolls and arm stretches and then thinking one positive thought about myself. I found that loosening up my muscles helps me slow my breath down, and it even makes the meditation process much more comfortable.
Suggestion: Remember that you’re stretching to relax and breathe, not work out, so don’t overdo it. If it helps you to do yoga-type stretches, then go for it, but your goal is to feel energized, not sore — and not to squeeze in a workout while you’re here. Keep your goals single-minded!
I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to completely and solely focus on nothing but your breath. Have you ever done that before? There is so much power in breathing, and particularly in slow breathing. It can feel a little awkward at first, but wow, trust me when I say you will feel the difference immediately.
Suggestion: Nose breathing can be the most calming (as opposed to mouth breathing), so if you need help slowing it down, think “in through your nose, out through your nose” and repeat that to yourself.
A few moments of meditation won’t magically make your life stress-free, but it will help relieve your stress a little bit, and clear your head too. Feel the stress of life melt away as you keep living the best you can!