By Francis: Life can be stressful at times so it’s important to be able to learn how to relax and become calmer. Every day we are faced with struggle and tensions that need to be erased so we can move forward willingly.
One of the first tools to think of is deep breathing. Try to find a place where you won’t be disturbed, sit cross legged on a cushion, light a white candle and relax. You can watch the flicker of the candle until you become mesmerized by the flame and following on from that you can be preparing yourself to relax. Closing your eyes, start to concentrate on your breathing to the point where it becomes your whole focus.
In, out, prolong the breaths and feel the stiffness start to fade. It’s ideal to do this for about ten or more minutes to start to begin your mediation journey. Try not to think too much of distractions, but at the same time do not fight against them as it’s inevitable they will come into your head. If you can do this practice every day for ten to twenty minutes, you will feel more centered and calm. Also, you can practice this before bed to aim a deep night sleep or even in the bath if you are trying to have some time out.
Group meditation- sometimes it helps to have some group energy to help us focus on relaxing. If you can find some friends or people to join you, it can be very helpful. Sit around in a circle and have some light meditation music on low playing in the background. Starting off you can do the breathing, in out and feel the tensions relieve themselves. Another method is to breath in one nostril whilst holding the other one and take deep inhalations by moving from one nostril to the other taking those deep breaths and concentrating on how the body calms itself. So, in, out taking it in turns to close one nostril and open the other one, each time inhaling deeply.
The next thing to do which is good in a group or alone is using visualization techniques. The trick is to imagine you are in a peaceful place surrounded by beauty and tranquility. Imagine yourself on a boat cruising down a calm river with slight sounds of birds in the background. Feel yourself moving slowly along this river whilst concentrating on your breathing all the time. Keep thinking of this scene as long as you can but also try to prepare yourself to coming back to reality by easing off on the imaginary before you open your eyes. You can do this again for ten or so minutes a day, even on your lunch break if it’s quiet somewhere or if your kids are at school or asleep. It’s important to have time for yourself even in the most stressful of days.
These are just a few small tips to start you off as a beginner of meditation practice and flowing on from them you can YouTube some more difficult techniques and even some day start your own group or have a friends night where you all can help each other relax and mediate. So, the answer to stress is to counteract it! Happy Meditating!
Love and Light,