Of all the questions that I get when I am seeing patients – I can’t sleep and I have a high stress and anxiety in my life, seem to be on top of the list. These questions almost always are followed by a laundry list of symptoms. Such as high blood pressure, constipation, headaches, heart palpitations… just to name a few.
One of the easiest and probably most beneficial (I say beneficial because it is safe, inexpensive and effective) things you can do is meditation. Meditation can be as simple or as fancy as you want to make it. However, the important thing is to always remember as Max Simon, of Get Self-Centered says… Meditation, it’s not what you think.
That saying is a great play on words. Because it’s not what you think. In fact, it’s okay to have thoughts while you are meditating. The more you try to empty your head the more frustrated you will become. The thoughts that are coming into your head while you are meditating are really a type of brain detoxification. Let them come in… and let them float out.
Over time you will find naturally that the frequency and amount of thoughts that do flood in will diminish. At the same time while doing a meditation routine, you will also find that stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, road rage, the way you handle stress, your general outlook on life – will all naturally and effortlessly change for the better.
The research that validates the benefits of meditation are astounding. The Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California – founded by Deepak Chopra and David Simon, have done an amazing job at bringing the benefits and ease of meditation to the masses. I have studied and met all of them at the Chopra Center and they are by far and away some of the most loving and amazing people I have ever met and had the great privilege of getting to know.
So… how do I meditate? I have been meditating for quite some time. While I enjoy the pomp and circumstance of having a fancy meditation pillow, burning incense, etc. This by no means is necessary. Find a comfortable position to sit. Hands folded comfortably in your lap. Close your eyes and begin to breathe slowly and deeply. If you fall asleep? Great! Your little body needed some rest. Begin the same process the next time you meditate.
I often teach my clients to say a phrase while they are in meditation to help them concentrate. One of my favorite ones to teach is from a friend of mine, Dr. Darren Weissman, of Illonois, who wrote the book “The Power of Infinite Love and Gratitude”. The phrase is “Infinite Love and Gratitude”. Gently and with ease slowly repeat this phrase while you are breathing.
Anytime thoughts come in – release them and go right back to your phrase. Honor the thoughts, sounds, distractions, etc. that you encounter while you are meditating. Obviously, its best to minimize distractions – for example, turn off your home and cellular phone, let your housemates know you are meditating so that they can be considerate of your time.
Time with meditation is your best ally. The benefits of meditation are cumulative. Health implications on meditation are so amazing. Please… I urge you, make this apart of your daily routine. The Chopra center recommends one 30 minute session 2 times per day. I am happy if you will commit to one 30 minute session a day.