Often when I suggest meditation to clients as a way to center their minds and relieve anxiety, they wince or cringe. Why is that? Is their reaction based on fear? Lack of understanding? Maybe both. I find it beneficial to explain to my clients what exactly meditation is and why it is so beneficial for us. I have learned that we tend to fear sitting in silence with ourselves. My goal is to help shift your view of meditation from something uncomfortable to something healing.
We may think we are too busy or too stressed to meditate. However, meditation can actually give us more time by making our minds calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance. The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort. Your meditation practice can be as short as a few minutes to as long as you like. I encourage you to ease into the practice and find a rhythm that works for YOU.
Through meditation, we can learn how to transform our thoughts from negative to positive. You can decide to engage in a guided meditation (easily able to find on YouTube or the app Headspace), listen to calming waves or music, or decide to practice in complete silence - outside or inside - whatever you choose.
Here are some helpful tips:
Find a place that is comfortable for you, free from distractions. Ask yourself why you are meditating in the first place. What is motivating you?
2. Set an intention
This may be as simple as you just want to quiet your mind or take a few moments to yourself. Or your intention could be to connect with your mind and body, reconstruct your thought patterns, or even listen to some answers from your higher power or the universe.
3. Choose a posture
Do you feel more comfortable sitting or lying down? On the floor, your bed or a chair? Whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
4. Follow your breath. Two great breathing exercises are the 4, 7, 8 rule (that I actually have on the back of my business cards) or chest/belly breath work.
4, 7, 8 breathing: Breathe in for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Breathe out slowly for 8 seconds. Repeat.
Breath work: Breathe in through your chest, then breathe in through your belly, and push out the air in an exhale.
5. Let it all go! Make sure to not judge yourself during your practice. Focus on your breath. It is normal to become distracted or wrapped up in your thoughts. That is okay! Just try and refocus on your breath. It will get easier!
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