I recently began a new meditation practice where I’ve learned that sounds around me have the potential to become meditation help. The first few minutes of the twice-daily exercise consist of pure mindfulness: noticing what each of the senses is experiencing one by one, then all together.
Are you new to meditation? If so, perhaps you’re looking for meditation tips because you can’t find a good jumping-off point. As meditation’s slowly lost the stigma as an "out-there" practice for hippies and religious devotees, meditation's benefits have been studied and touted as important for mental health self-care. Perhaps you’ve become aware of these benefits of meditation, but feel frustrated after trying it a few times. These three meditation tips will help get you off to a great start.
Do you experience seasonal depression (also known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD)? If so, you may have extra trouble getting out of bed during periods of SAD.
If you do a web search of “breaking habits,” you will get over 30 million results about how to break bad habits (smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.). But recently, I came across the quote below by 20th-century theologian Henry Van Dyke, and it resonated deeply with me. It made me realize that habits, while often necessary, can be restrictive. Even if they’re not bad habits, you may want to consider breaking a habit that is not bad in order to grow a bit.
I spend time outdoors every day. As a writer, I enjoy being surrounded by nature. Breathing in fresh air is liberating. It awakens my senses and filters my thoughts (Three Ways to Manage Your Mood). I gravitate towards a wide-range of outdoor landscapes that calm, yet energize, my mind, body and soul.
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. ~ Epictetus Motivation What causes you to take action? Do you have goals, whether it’s getting up early or exercising daily? Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts? Are you doing what brings you joy and happiness? Motivation is the it I’m referring to. Motivation is simply your eagerness or desire to do something. Honestly, some days I don’t feel like springing out of bed to seize the day. Some days, I’m not fired up to take the hill of goals I or someone else set for me. Nor am I always inspired to take part in the political Merengue that permeates corporate culture. Though, on the other hand, I am not interested in lounging around the house or willing to spend the day as the song lyrics of Otis Redding goes:
Pay attention so you can hear. Some would say it is an art as much as it is a science. Merriam-Webster defines listen as such: To pay attention to someone or something in order to hear what is being said, sung, played, etc. If you took time to listen to your body, your mind would trigger you to make better choices. Body listens to mind; mind listens to body. Awareness is the link. Make no mistake: Every cell knows when you are unhappy, anxious or stressed. A cell's awareness is expressed in chemical reactions instead of words. No matter. The message comes through loud and clear~ Deepak Chopra, M.D.
We live in a hectic world which opens the door for unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, lack of exercise, financial stresses, escalated work demands and information overload. This blocks the pathway to bliss and creates an internal stream of fear, stress, hurries, worries, and life land mines and negatively affect the mind. Given this, sometimes we catch ourselves mindlessly functioning on autopilot.
Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and begin to build. ~ Robert Collier Awaken Your Imagination Other than your eyelids, what do you see when you close your eyes? Have you ever wanted to hear, taste, smell or feel something differently? You can. Just imagine it! Awaken your imagination to create ideas, images, and the environment you desire to see. When you visualize, you are tapping into your "mind's eye.” This means you have the power to see things with your mind. It is an amazing inherent human gift to be able to shape what happens in your daily life by changing your thoughts and expectations. To do this you must first change the way you view things in life and then your conditioned response to those things will change. Visualizing has been used by many successful people, for example, Oprah, Tony Robbins, Jim Carrey, Bill Gates, Michael Jordon, and even Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. High performing athletes have long benefited from visualization. It is practiced a lot in applied sports psychology. In their book Visual Athletics: Visualization for Peak Sports Performance (William C. Brown Publishers, 1990), Dr. Kay Porter and Judy Foster suggest that when you see yourself doing what you want in the way in which you desire, it produces a blueprint in the brain that manifests in the mind as if you have gone there in the body. Now-like any gift whether it is the gift of singing, dancing, or painting, you must practice - the mental rehearsal of visualizing.