"We all know that regular, moderate exercise is good for us. But imagine what it would be like if all you did was exercise: if you ran, walked, jumped, or lifted 24 hours a day. After only a very short while, exercise actually wouldn’t be that good for you because without rest and self-healing, exercise becomes counterproductive and even risky…and so it is with your mind. We spend all day (and sometimes all night, too!) in a whirlwind of thought. When there isn’t something particular to think about (what to eat for breakfast, the tasks of the day, or what you’re going to say in an upcoming meeting), we search restlessly for something to fill the gap-worries, hopes, television, and so on. We never allow our minds to rest. And without this precious self-healing time, our minds become exhausted and thoughts less trustworthy. Just as we need to stop moving our bodies every once in a while, we also need to stop moving our minds.
Can I just go ahead and admit that this has been THE hardest thing for me tackle in my healing process. I am the stereotypical Type A, never rest busy body that is always thinking of what's next. I know many of you can relate. Our busy world is wreaking havoc on our body's ability to cope with stress, so we need to find time to unplug.
Why is meditation important?
In this program our #1 goal is to reduce stress in the body. When we wrote down our lists of life stresses, we observed feelings that come up when certain things happen. Maybe you get overly angry when your child refuses to do what you say. Maybe you have a hard time dealing with certain noises, certain stimuli, certain smells. Maybe the feeling of being out of control with finances, family situations, or marital problems causes you to feel panicky or anxious. Meditation is going to help us deal with all the feelings that come with these problems, and teach or stress mechanism to quiet instead of overact to these circumstances.
I have found some methods that are extremely helpful that can actually be accomplished by someone with a busy schedule, or someone that has a hard time sitting down to do it.
Here are the 3 Recommended forms of meditation.
Our bodies have pathways that acupuncturists use to help balance the different systems and reduce pain in our bodies. These points in the body have been proven to lower stress when pressed, tapped on, or stuck into with a needle. When we tap on these points in the body while thinking of what is causing us stress, pain, or anxiety, the bad feelings associated with that thought will disappear over a few sessions. I've use it to help release childhood trauma, and now I don't feel anxious when I think of those things. I use it to reduce stress in my body when I've pushed it too far, or if my kids have pushed me over the edge that day.
My heart rate monitor measures heart rate variability, which can tell you your real time stress levels. Sometimes our bodies are stressed even if we can't immediately feel it. If I plug in and my stress level is high, a few minutes of tapping will always lower the level to 1.
This study was done on the effects of tapping with PTSD victims, and they found that over 60% fully rehabilitated, with only 10% not benefitting from it at all. It has been proven to help reduce and eliminate stress that is associated with traumatic events.
The thing that I love most is that you can do it in your car or at your desk at work. Yeah you might look a little weird to passerbys, but you can handle it. You don't have to be seated with eyes closed to feel the effects of it.
Watch here on how to do it.
2. Guided Meditation
For someone who has a mind that easily wanders, having someone guide me through relaxation. I do a lot better staying focused for longer. And when all you have to do is press play, you are going to be more likely to do it as well.
There are soooo many resources out there that offer these free meditations. Here are a couple apps that I use.
Apps for Your Phone
- Insight Timer
There are also channels on Youtube and Spotify that do the same thing.
One of my favorite times to use guided meditation is at night as I'm drifting off to sleep. I use Erick Brown's Sleep Hypnosis that I purchased off of ITunes to drift off into LaLa Land, and it helps quiet my overactive brain.
3. As part of your RESET stretching.
When you are doing your 2 Minute Resets Throughout the day, this is the absolute perfect time to stop, breathe, and meditate. Meditation doesn't have to be this hour long, focused, planned thing. Trust me, when you use your breath during the stretching portion, you will get up feeling so revitalized.