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Let Meditation help relieve stress and anxiety


Let Meditation Smooth The Storms Of Anxiety

Jack Brooks for

Our world has taken a quantum
leap in complexity, rapidity, and unpredictability. Functioning in
whatever role you currently have, be it student or teacher, parent or
child, worker or retiree, and any in between these takes more focus,
more energy, demands more time, and requires more attention just to
achieve the same results as last year. While today’s pharmacopoeia offers a seemingly endless supply of mind-altering pills for medically
treating an anxious mind,  when
we’re just plain feeling overwhelmed, a more holistic solution is
called for, and meditation fills the bill nicely. 

Eastern techniques of
“inner work” are now acceptable, having come out of the esoteric
world of Indian yogis to the gyms, spas, and seminar rooms of America.
Now, our media “gurus” tout the therapeutic value of a quieted mind
for general health benefits and specifically, stress relief. Let’s see
how this age-old practice can be applied to coping with today’s
frenetic life challenges.

Stillness Bring Relief 

At first glance it seems
necessary for us to think, think, think to complete our many daily tasks
– to stop our chaotic thoughts, so eloquently (and aptly) referred to as
the “drunken monkey” by experienced mediators, for even a moment
seems difficult, if not impossible.

Yet many thousands do it by using
focusing techniques to channel their mental energy in a
“one-pointed” direction. 

One of the most
widely used is breath witnessing.

cartoon monkey on branch

For a beginning student, this practice, as in most
meditation sessions, entails seating yourself in as quiet and
undisturbed a setting as possible, in an upright yet relaxed posture
with the spine straight and arms folded in your lap. Using a quiet timer
set for 20 minutes (a reasonable practice period for beginners), close
your eyes, breathe slowly in through the nostrils, pause, then exhale
slowly out, paying attention to the soft sigh of the in breath and the
gentle “whoosh” of your exhalation.

Be aware of the stillness during
the pause between these; yogic sages say this brief conscious interlude
is when self-enlightenment becomes most accessible.

pile of peopleThe first time you spend
practicing meditation, if you’re like most busy folks, will seem as if
there’s a clamoring
crowd in your head, all vying for attention with raucous chatter and
frantic nattering. You’ll probably wonder, “how will I ever shut
them up???”

The secret is
to persist in listening to your quiet breathing, feeling the cool air
coming in and the warmer air going out. Just let your thoughts go on
chattering, like magpies in a Maple tree.

Continue to breathe in, pause,
breathe out, over and over.  Soon,
you’ll begin to feel them become a background, like static on the
radio, as you breathe in, pause, breathe out. They’ll recede and start
floating off, like Fall Oak leaves on a quiet pond, falling then
drifting away, carried by the soft breeze of your breath. 

As you develop
your meditative ability, you’ll feel yourself sinking into that
peaceful pond, into its still, soothing depths of tranquillity. Each
time, your mind will quiet sooner, you’ll go a little deeper and gain
more peace and mental refreshment.

Effective Meditation Techniques

Breath Witnessing is only one of
a variety of approaches to meditation.

Many mediators use a mantra, which is a word or phrase, repeated verbally or silently in
the mind, to serve as an object of mental focus. Some of the more
well-known ones are Christian prayers, such as the Hail
prayer, and the Tibetan Buddhist chant, Om Mani Padma Hum.

You can adapt any philosophical or spiritual
phrase or affirmation to fulfil this function; many use their favorite
one as a goal setting affirmation. Perhaps you recall Dale Carnegie’s
famous mantra, “Every Day, In Every Way, I’m Getting Better and
Better!”  In fact, there
exist entire schools of meditative Yoga with specific mantras and
techniques for reaching deeper stages of dissociation from day-to-day
consciousness and moving into more extensive depths. These are widely
available if you wish to explore more deeply or follow an extended
meditative program.

The advantages to meditation are
many; minimal expense and flexibility in scheduling your sessions are
just a few. How often can you gain physical and mental benefits without
doctors, clinics, therapists and medicines? 

Actually, all that is a
prerequisite is your willingness and persistence to seek a quiet place
and devote a little time to beginning a new and healthful practice.
After all, like the old song says. “The Best Things In Life Are


Visitor Feedback:-

Second is the breathing exercise to reduce anxiety. I suffer from
chronic pain and use the same procedures to lower my degree of pain. I also have found that while lowering pain it also lowers my blood
pressure and body temperature. 

Joe Price