Stress! 🙁 Who needs it? Not me. Stress is another one of those things that you cannot experience simultaneously as Joy. Stress is a Joy repellent. It makes you feel awful. Prolonged stress is bad for your health. Symptom of stress that I have encountered include: insomnia, shortness of breath (more like holding my breath without realizing) tummy troubles, break outs, difficulty swallowing, and over eating. Stress sucks! Can a Meditation Challenge help?
There are a lot of things people do to combat stress. Some things are not so good. For instance over eating, excessive drinking, self-medicating, over spending and other self-destructive habits. Some positive and healthy things people do to combat stress include exercise, sex, journaling, therapy, music, art, blogging, meditation, prayer, and bible study. There is one particular positive stress management activity that I have been wanting to try, talking about trying, but have not tried.
I am talking about Meditation. The good kind of meditation. Not the Meditating to improve my Psychic warfare “so I don’t have to work for the beast” (See Dating a CAJT) kind of meditation. But I digress. I have been wanting to try meditation for a while, over a year even. I have heard people say that prayer (which I am a believer in) is when you talk to God and meditation is when you quite your mind to hear Him respond. I am not seeking to have some sort of life altering religious experience. I am seeking to improve my concentration, find a new method of stress management, and to just see what it is like.
The stars finally aligned and I received a sign that it is now time for me to stop talking and thinking about meditating and actually start meditating. The signed came in the form of an email at work. Yes good things came come in the form of work emails. Not often but it does happen. I received an email from our occupational health group that advocated using meditation as a form of stress relief. Not only did the email recommend meditation it offered a step by step guide on how to do it.
I no longer have any excuse. So for at least the next 10 days I will be following the instructions below. The basic instructions don’t say how long the meditation session should be so I’m going to have a goal of 10 minutes a day. This is such a short amount of time but I know it will be a challenge for me. To sit quietly, not fall asleep, not play on my phone, not watch TV, and not talk to anyone for 10 whole minutes every day for 10 days, ah, a challenge indeed. Will any of you do this 10 day Meditation Challenge with me??? Here are the basics:
Meditation is a way to relax and renew the mind, body, and the spirit. Meditation is not necessarily about having no thoughts; it’s about having no reactions to your thoughts, so allow the thoughts to come and go. Be gentle and patient with the process.
- Relaxed and effortless posture
- Bring yourself to a relaxed and comfortable posture, either sitting on the floor, in a chair, or lying on your back. If sitting, be aware of the spine being effortlessly extended upward.
- Exhale completely, leaving a slight pause at the end of the exhale.
- Follow the breath
- Allow the body to naturally inhale.
- Mentally say “one” while you inhale.
- Allow a slight pause before exhaling again.
- Exhale and release
- As you exhale, release all tension.
- Mentally say “and”—or some other single syllable word that holds either neutral or positive connotations while you exhale (words like “love,” “joy,” “fresh,” etc.). You know I’ll be saying JOY!!!
- Continue the cycle
- Continue the cycle in a slow, relaxed fashion.
- Remember: Mentally recite “one” for the inhale. Mentally say “Joy” – or your chosen single-syllable word for the exhale. Release tension on the exhale. Each breath is a new beginning. “One” for the inhale signifies that each breath stands alone as a new start, a new moment.
- Completing the meditation
- Take your time coming back from the meditation experience. Give yourself a couple of minutes before you bring yourself back to your regular day.
- Bring yourself back slowly and gently bring your refreshed self back to a new moment with a smile.
- Enjoy the serenity.
Do you meditate? How does it affect you? Who will accept the Meditation Challenge and meditate 10 minutes every day for the next 10 days?