Meditation is the ultimate tool to relieve anxiety and increase focus. What once was thought of as a “woo woo” technique for yogis has now become a daily ritual for many of the most notable figures in business and entertainment, like Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Russell Simmons, Ariana Huffington, and Evan Williams (Twitter co-founder).
Meditation is the process of transforming the mind to a calm state. Imagine a cloudy and grey sky suddenly become clear and blue. Meditation is the wind blowing those clouds away. Ready for a clear sky mind? Resting in one place and silencing your thoughts can be a tall order for the meditation beginner. Luckily there are several other meditation techniques you can use to get to a zen state of mind.
Different Ways to Meditate
This practice asks for stillness in your movement. Extended, constant movement like a nature walk is quieting and calming. Try 108 sun salutations to connect your body and mind with your breath. Surrender yourself to the rhythm of music and dance yourself to bliss with Osho Kundalini Meditation or slow your dance moves down reeeaaal slow with Tai Chi. When you get lost in movement, your brain stops thinking and your body just moves.
For this meditation practice, you will look outward to go inward. This exercise not only reduces anxiety but your eye health can improve as well. Sit still and stare at a fixed object. If you’re outside, set your eyes on a rock, tree, moon (just not the sun). The flicker of a fire or candle is also an amazing focal point. Start will 10-15 seconds of gazing at a time as this technique can be intense.
Daily Practice Meditation
This technique encourages you to go about your day but at a slower pace. Take twice as long as usual to brush your teeth, to walk up the stairs, to put your ToeSox on. The focus will keep you in the present moment. Plus, in this fast-paced world, this meditation practice is a positive excuse to slow it all down.
This form of meditation, also called Metta meditation, is a sitting practice… with a twist. Pull up a bolster and sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Next, think of your greatest desires and frame them in short phrases, like “may I be at peace” or “I am love”. Next, repeat and direct the phrases toward the following people: a beloved person in your life like a teacher or friend; a neutral person like your mail carrier or barista; a person you might have negative or challenging feelings about; and, then, all of humanity. While you send your thoughts to a kinder place, you will experience a sense of peace while also elevating your own positive vibrations.
Which technique would you most want to try? Take your time and be patient developing your meditation practice. If you give up too soon you will be missing out on the incredible benefits: increased concentration, reduced stress, improved health, and aging slower.