editation promotes better sleep patterns, eases stress and anxiety, a relaxation tool and also one method of connecting with your spiritual nature. If you are new to meditation it can take some time and perseverance to quieten the mind and be still and it is best to start with short practices of 5 – 10 mins sitting upright in a chair regularly rather than lengthy practices which may be more challenging to sustain. There are many forms of meditation so finding one that suits you can be very rewarding. The general purpose is the same, whereby our busy minds are given a specific focus to help switch off the constant thought process for a time; to still the body and to stop or be in the moment, not the past or the future.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation and a practice that can be taken into some aspects of everyday life where we become aware of the present moment and become a witness to our thoughts, ultimately giving us more power over our mind and connection to our bodies and indeed the world around us. It helps us to become more deeply aware of all of our senses in each given moment. Practiced regularly it can give us a better and more rounded
Guided Visualisation is a meditation technique where we are guided on a journey in our imagination, for example this may be on a forest walk or a tropical beach or as intricate as a journey into the galaxy or interacting with mythical creatures. This is not a practice for those with complex mental health issues as it may be difficult for some to separate imagination from reality. Otherwise it can be a ground for self-development work or a spiritual practice where we can connect with Angels or Guides. It is best to seek out a reputable shamanic or spiritual practitioner if you are drawn to experience this element of guided visualisation. Guided visualisations can be purchased on CD or downloaded o MP3. They can help us find a deeper connection with our internal world and therefore understand ourselves on a deeper level. They can help us uncover qualities and skills that have laid dormant and help give us the confidence to use them.
Breathwork is a form of meditation where there is a focus on the breath. It can be referred to as conscious breathing and it can relieve symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks, calming the nervous system and bring more awareness to our breathing patterns in general. We don’t tend to make full use of our breath in general and shallow breathing is detrimental to our general health and wellbeing. At its most basic level we would be inhaling through the nose deep into the belly for a count of 4 and the belly rises, then exhaling through the nose for a count of 4 and the belly falls back. That is a good place to start and then we gradually learn to breath longer and more flowing using all of our lung capacity.
This is only a few selected forms of meditation and an introduction to its uses and benefits. Although practicing at home is an option, and there are many available on Youtube, you may find a class locally with an experienced teacher or facilitator if you want to develop your practice.