10 Powerful Meditation Techniques and Tips
Meditation is a powerful way to reduce stress, feel better and develop inner peace. You can become more conscious of your truer self. Meditations’ true purpose is to shift your consciousness from the outer world to your inner world, where all change begins. Meditation offers you a way to create a pause in your daily activity to consciously connect with your inner power. Here are ten tips I teach new students.
1. Establish a quiet space to meditate. Find a comfortable room in which you are going to meditate regularly, especially in the beginning as you are learning to relax and quiet your mind.
2. Select a meditation chair. Do not lie down and try and meditate on your bed, unless you want to fall asleep. Your subconscious mind associates your bed with sleep. So find a couch or designate a special chair that you will meditate in.
3. Find a meditation time when you will least likely be disturbed. If the kids come home from school at 3:30, don’t try and meditate at 4PM. Rather choose a time when you will be interruption free as much as possible. Please turn off the ringer on your phones. If you receive a call when you are meditating you can return it later.
4. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Repeat this 5-10 times. You can mentally repeat the words “relax” as you exhale.
5. Meditation is a mental function that has many physical forms. Meditation can take the form of long distance running, gazing into a fireplace (while there is a fire burning, of course), sunbathing at the beach, Tai-Chi and, even weight-lifting are some common examples of moving meditations. These forms allow your thoughts to slow down and your mind to become reflective. We all have the capacity to train our minds to have the same effect without running ten miles or driving to the beach. Moving meditations do have one draw back, the individual must still give attention to the physical world, thus reducing the clarity and guidance that would otherwise be there if they were to close their eyes and shift their full attention inward. So don’t worry about being perfectly still.
6. Relax your Eyes. We project an enormous amount of energy through our eyes. When you desire to relax your body, start with your eyes. A great way to relax the tiny muscles in and around your eyes is to do this exercise. Keeping your eyes closed simply lift them up, then look down, then look to the right and then to the left, holding for 5-10 seconds in each position to stretch your eye muscles, then allow them to softly go back to center.
7. Relax your tongue. If your tongue is pressed against the roof of your mouth or behind your front teeth, then you are in the mind-frame for speaking which is not a meditative state. When you relax your tongue and allow it to go back into the center of your mouth, your mind will slow down your thinking process. Try it right now. Let close your eyes and relax your tongue and notice how your mind subtly shifts into a more relaxed state.
8. Visualization versus Imagination. If you can’t visualize in your minds eye, don’t worry. Imagination includes all of your five senses to communicate to your body. It might be easier for you to imagine the smell of the ocean and hear the sounds in your mind. Imagining the smell and sounds can be easier for some then visualizing. Your imagination is very powerful, so learn to use it.
9. Scan your body for tension. Mentally take an inventory of your physical body and where you tend to hold onto stress. If it is in your shoulders, it is ok to tighten them, holding for a moment and then relax them. This is called progressive relaxation and can help break the bond of tension in your body. Scan your body and those tight areas flex and relax while you breath slowly repeating the word “relax” with your exhale.
10. A good way to relax those pesky thoughts. Don’t be frustrated as you begin learning to meditate. It is natural to have many thoughts come to you when you’re learning to meditate. An example… If you worry about a report due at work while meditating, don’t fight it. Listen to your inner concerns and then release it. If you can’t stop your mind from thinking (I have to finish that report by Tuesday morning), simply take in a deep breath and as you exhale imagine your blowing that thought out of your head. Perhaps see the words written on a chalk board and imagine you are blowing the message off the board with your exhale. Or imagine you are erasing it. This gives the subconscious mind a very clear message.
On a spiritual level… learning how to meditate offers a ritual to commune with your Soul to receive guidance, healing and wisdom from within.
On a mental level… meditation will bring you clarity and can reveal deeper understanding about the way you’re living you life, and what thoughts and beliefs are holding you back.
On an emotional level… meditating offers a way to get in touch with your feelings and to resolve them constructively producing profound inner peace.
On a physical level… meditation is a stress reducer, as you practice it on a regular basis, you will renew your physical energy and stamina. The siesta times many countries honor is a great way to bring balance back into a busy life-style, even if it’s only a 15 minute meditation on your lunch break at work.