October is Emotional Wellness Month and what better way to honor this than by learning some simple forms of meditation. This practice will introduce you to becoming more self-aware through meditation. Self-awareness is really at the heart of mindfulness, which in turn, leads to emotional healing. Now, you may think this will involve a great deal of time and commitment and it’s quite the opposite.
Stillness is a powerful practice, it triggers a relaxation response that only happens when we stop and slow down. Meditation allows for us to slow down and reorganize which will open up space for our inner wisdom to sink in. The sense of relaxation from the experience stays with you afterwards and leads to a happier, healthier life and certainly less stress.
One of the easiest ways to begin is by setting time aside each day to practice. It helps if it is the same time to instill the habit. This can be for just a few minutes, which may not seem like it will have an impact, but it will over time and you will eventually be able to sit longer. Now at first, you may find that you have the “monkey mind” with scattered thoughts that randomly appear. When this happens, just accept them, and then send them on their way. These thoughts that come up are your minds way of healing. Sometimes they need to come up and forward to move through the healing process.
You may wish to set an intention or affirmation first and then begin with deep diaphragmatic breathing, in and out through your nose. This will allow the body to take in more oxygen and reach the bottom part of the lungs. By taking slow and steady breaths this way, you will begin to notice the thoughts appear less and your mind begin to settle. Now, focus your attention in-between your eyebrows and let this be the point that you come to if your mind begins to wander. Allow your face to soften and erase any lines on your forehead. Release your jaw, it is no longer clenched. Allow a soft smile to come across your lips and just breathe…..You may want to breathe in a positive affirmation and then breathe out what no longer serves you. Or, you may try to breathe in for a count of 7 and breathe out for a longer count of 8 and so on. Try not to be discouraged if you do not immediately drop into a quiet space, that is perfectly normal.
Meditation in a group setting can be very powerful as the energy is even more amplified through the group. Many companies are recognizing this and have implemented classes in the workplace for their employees to reap the benefits. Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Yoga prepares you for meditation as the body and mind are integrated. An experienced yoga teacher can guide you through the practice to avoid any issues with alignment and to prevent injury.
There are also many meditation apps that have guided meditations and track your progress. This is a great way to learn from a variety of teachers that will introduce you to the various styles and lengths of meditation.
The most important aspect is consistency; what you focus on, you create!