FIGHT STRESS WITH POSITIVE THOUGHTS & MEDITATION
Photo Credit: Metro Creative Graphics
Had a long day or a rough week? Feel like you can't stop your mind from racing? Oh, when does the madness end?? When will my life be stress-free? Why is everyone getting under my skin?
You will be stress-free when you learn to shift your thoughts and to live in appreciation as much as possible, and everyone is getting under your skin simply because you let them. Go somewhere and empty the negativity out of your mind, your body and your spirit!
You may ask, “How do I empty my mind when there is so much going on in my life?” Some of you may be struggling with spiritual issues, relationship issues or financial issues. If you try really hard not to think about your relationship problems, you will inevitably think
about your relationship problems. In other words, if you keep telling yourself, “I am not going to imagine a pink elephant, I am not going to imagine a pink elephant...”, you
automatically begin to imagine a pink elephant! You
stop thinking about something by telling yourself that you will not think about it!
The very act of trying to not think about something breathes life into the existence of the thought that you don’t want to think about. So what can you do? You can
consciously, intentionally and meticulously
shift your thoughts to more positive thoughts. This takes practice, but it is worth learning.
Let’s define a positive thought: Positive can be interpreted as something that is “pleasing”, “without negative features”, “uplifting”, or “good.” Each one of us have thoughts that are pleasing. Maybe it is the first time that you held your newborn baby, the first time you saw a beautiful sunset, the day your lover proposed, the day that you were baptized or one of your birthdays. It does not matter what the positive thought is, it simply has to be something that makes YOU FEEL GOOD.
Let’s continue. Now that you know what a positive thought is, you can use this technique to alleviate stress, to focus, to calm yourself or to prepare for meditation.
SIX ESSENTIAL STEPS:
1. Find a quiet place to sit or lay comfortably, but do not position yourself in the fetal position. This might cause you to fall asleep. Try sitting in a chair or laying on your back with the palms of your hands facing down on your thighs. (I usually put headphones on and listen to ocean sounds or classical music to drown out background noise).
2. Focus - Let your mind think about whatever stressful things that it wants to think about for the moment, then quietly say to yourself,
"I will give you no more power over me"
3. Reach for the better feeling thought - reach for a positive thought to replace the stressful thought. Remember, you have to “replace” the thoughts because you need to breath life into a positive thought. The goal is to hold the positive thought for at least 17 seconds. Imagine yourself in that place again, hearing those words again or having that feeling again. Focus on that positive thought and feeling until you feel like you might want to smile. As you sit with your eyes closed, relax your facial muscles and allow a smile or a smirk to come across your face if that feels natural. Don’t fight smiling during this exercise.
4. Take deep breathes - Intentionally focus on slowing down your breathing. Inhale through your nose and allow your lungs to fill up. Exhale slowly through your mouth or nose. This breathing technique is good for people who are just beginning to practice meditation.
5. Relax - As you focus on your breathing, you will notice that your body is relaxed and your mind is focused on your breathing. You may feel sleepy, but do not go to sleep. The goal is to practice calming yourself intentionally. Do this for at least 15 minutes.
6. Feel Appreciation - Now towards the end of your meditation, say a silent prayer thanking God for all of your blessings. If you don’t believe in a Higher Power, simply focus on all that is good in your life. Everyone has something to be thankful for. Meditate on joy and allow the feelings of appreciation to build up in your body. Open your eyes and sit up slowly. All Done!!
Hope this blog was helpful! Live in appreciation everyday! Count your blessings daily and more will come!!