Being able to meditate is a valuable skill, especially in today’s hectic world. Drawn from ancient disciplines, it is still totally right for our times. In the following article we’ll be looking at meditation for anxiety, meditation techniques for beginners, things to help you sleep and a breathing meditation. Any form of meditating is good for anxiety, but we also include a short visualisation, to calm you when you are wound up.
MANY WAYS OF MEDITATING
Meditation techniques as they are taught today are often drawn from Buddhism, although many other methods are emerging. These may not achieve the deepest states, but are more suited to the Western mind. The ultimate goal of meditation is a union with the Divine, but for the great majority of us that idea seems too distant and meditation for anxiety is a priority.
HOW TO MEDITATE FOR BEGINNERS
Don’t expect too much of yourself if you are new to meditating. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to stop your thoughts from wandering because that’s what the mind does – wander. For now, just aim for becoming relaxed and bringing your awareness into the here and now. Here is an exercise for you to try out.
MEDITATION TECHNIQUES FOR BEGINNERS
- When you begin meditating it is essential to set the scene properly and to prepare yourself. Make sure your environment is comfortably warm and not too brightly-lit. Keep disturbances from people, pets and phone at bay. Play soft music if you wish, but this must be carefully chosen so that it does not carry its own distractions, so avoid choosing a piece that you associate with anything specific in the ‘ordinary’ world. Diffuse oil of lavender in a burner if you like. You may want to light a candle.
- Lie down, or sit with your limbs supported, so they can relax. Don’t cross your legs. Let your arms and hands rest at your sides or gently folded in your lap.
- Relax each part of your body, starting from your toes and going all the way up to the top of your head, and when you feel you are relaxed totally – relax a bit more!
- Be aware of your breathing for a while - there is no need to try to make it slower, just focus on the sensation of the air entering and leaving your lungs. Probably you will also become aware of your surroundings – all the small sounds, the scents (especially those from your oil-diffuser) the quality of light, etc.
- Notice your thoughts, fantasies and memories and let them go on each out-breath. Don’t worry if your mind seems to race – you are just becoming more aware of what’s going on, and with practice this will subdue. If your mind wanders be gentle with yourself – that’s natural – just return again and again to your breathing. Even if a beautiful thought occurs, let that go for now – your breathing and relaxation are all that matters
- Gradually rejoin the everyday world, being aware of your breathing, your body, your surroundings, until you are back to normal. Treasure the tranquillity, but don’t worry if it fades – you can tune in again and again and gradually the connection will become stronger and longer-lasting.
MEDITATION FOR ANXIETY
If you are feeling especially anxious, work through the stages above, and as you begin to notice your thoughts, start to visualise a beautiful scene in the country. You come to where a crystal stream is flowing peacefully between green banks. Notice how the water flows on and on, and where it flows over stones the water ripples, yet does not stop – it simply rolls gently onwards, onwards, onwards.
Pick green leaves, one for each of your anxieties, or aspects of your anxiety. ‘Name’ each leaf, e.g. ‘this one is my fear of being alone’ ‘this one is my money-worries’ etc. Dropping each leaf into the current affirm to yourself that your anxieties are being carried away and that a stream of tranquillity is flowing through you, cleansing you.
When each of your leaves has been washed away, feel the sunlight on you, heartening you, strengthening you, empowering you. You can now sense a protective, encouraging presence. A being comes to you at the water’s edge – this is an angel, spirit guide or ancestor. Feel the soothing influence, let yourself be calmed, experience safety and reassurance.
When you are ready, take your leave of this being, with thanks. Gradually return to everyday awareness and make a note of all you’ve experienced.
THINGS TO HELP YOU SLEEP
The importance of sleep is receiving more and more media attention. Sleep is essential for health, and there are no prizes for getting by on just a few hours per night – but neither is there any benefit in worrying! One of the commonest causes of insomnia is worrying about it! Sleeplessness will not kill you. Reassure yourself that you will manage, and that you will re-establish a healthy routine. Here are some things to help you sleep:
- It may be natural to wake up in the night and remain awake for an hour or so – evidence is coming to light that this was common in medieval times
- Have a bedtime routine including warm bath, chamomile tea, relaxing reading – or what you choose. Do this every night at the same time
- Don’t have a telly in the bedroom and ban computers, phones and laptops for a couple of hours before bed
- If you can’t sleep, or wake up in the night, get up for a bit rather than tossing and turning and getting frustrated
- Try the meditation for anxiety above, to still your mind, and/or the breathing meditation below
Simply paying attention to your breathing is the beginning of meditation. Be aware of how deeply you are breathing. Breathe gently, but deeply, right down into the base of your spine. Hold your breath for a count of two. Now breathe out on the count of four, making sure you empty your lungs completely, and count to two before breathing in again. Do not ‘lock’ your throat.
Do this a few times. Experiment with a rhythm that is right for you, and don’t hyperventilate. This little breathing meditation can help you let go of stress.
Anxiety can become deeply ingrained and sometimes, despite the meditation for anxiety, you may still suffer from it. Talking about this can be a great consolation. At TheCircle you can always contact a Psychic or Medium who can help you. Benefit from a Psychic Reading, check your Horoscope, get some advice, insight and support. A Clairvoyant Reading can show ways to move forwards, so make contact with us without delay
PUBLISHED: 09 NOVEMBER 2015