We are anxious, tense, and worried in a fast-paced life and most of the time, do not know the reason! It is the big ‘S’ word – stress! Consider meditation, says Shivani Adalja. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace and anyone can do it. You can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, driving to work, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting!
Everyone is living in the fast lane these days. You drive to work while talking on the phone and making mental notes. You are cooking while loading the washing machine and are also watching your favourite sitcom and keeping an eye?on your toddler.Multi tasking?has become a way of life. Things are constantly changing and we are in a race to keep up the pace. Constant attention to social media, endless household chores, stressful job, deteriorating relationships and the fast pace of life eventually takes its toll.
You develop headaches; body pain, skin problems and cant sleep at night. Before you know it, this life that you built with so much care starts to crumble. In this chaos do you find time to focus on yourself? Do?you realise how much?stress you absorb?while performing your day-to-day activities? Your mind is like a sponge; it absorbs everything. Just the way you have clutter in your home, you mind is also cluttered with unnecessary worries, concerns and insecurities. Have you ever thought of clearing your mental clutter? What about the old habits, and self-destructive patterns that are holding you back? How about taking a step back and allowing your mind to relax? Everyone must take sometime out from everyday life to not only clear physical but also mental clutter.
To begin with start taking some time out every day and spend that time doing nothing. It could be five or ten minutes. Introspection is the key to de-stressing. Are you holding a grudge? Are you angry and are not able to express it? Did someone hurt you and you want to hurt them back? Do you have problem forgiving people? Are you overwhelmed? Do you hate your life?
All these thoughts carry heavy energy and eventually bog you down. Stress is an excess baggage that is heavier than anything else in the world and it is dangerous to carry it around. How can you achieve what you want to achieve in your personal and professional life while clinging onto stress? Only when you let go, can you experience freedom in true sense of the word.
The most common way to combat stress is to learn how to meditate. The common misconception about meditation is that one must sit cross legged on the floor for hours and focus on nothing. In reality meditation can be done from anywhere. The meaning of the word mediation in Sanskrit is to focus. As long you are focused on one task at a time and block everything else out, that is meditation. If you enjoy swimming and are only focused on your time in water while blocking out everything else, then you are meditating. Any activity that gets you away from the chatter of the brain is meditation. Some do it while playing tennis, while some use music to block out the mental chaos. As long as you are able to live in the moment and enjoy that moment you are meditating.
These days it is easy to practice meditation. Many free youtube videos are available and classes around town can help you de-stress. The practice of meditation has helped improved mental and physical wellbeing for centuries. So what if you don’t have a couple of hours to spare? Practice five minutes of simple meditation twice a day to relax your mind, body and soul.
- Start by lighting incense or scented candles.
- Play soft music and switch off your phone. Dim the lights so that eyes can relax.
- Sit in a comfortable position or on the floor. Close ?your eyes and slow down your breathing.
- Let all thoughts pass through your mind. Don’t stop or ?resist your thoughts.
- Focus on the soothing music and keep breathing slowly.
- Keep breathing at the count of eight and breathe out at the count of sixteen.
- Continue breathing deeply and slowly until you relax completely.
The key is to keep breathing in deeply no matter what. Regular practice of slow breathing will help your mind to slow down and eventually you will be able to meditate for a longer period of time. Daily practice of meditation helps in controlling stress, stabilises blood pressure and improves sleep patterns. Many universities across the globe are introducing meditation in their syllabus to help students perform better. Hollywood celebrities and astronauts vouch by it. You can benefit too. All you have to do is learn to breathe slowly and deeply; everything else will fall into place.
Shivani Adalja is a Dubai based feng shui and wellbeing practitioner, author of several leading papers and columns on the subject, motivational speaker, Intuitive Counselor and one of the most sought after personalities in the Middle East.