While waiting to go into the Doctors I sat reading a Good Housekeeping Health Living magazine. It had a brilliant article on finding the right type of meditation to suit your mood. These are some of the tips to help you find the techniques that work best for you.
- If you need flexibility then look at the apps that are available for help with all kinds of needs from performance to sleep. They recommend Headspace or Happier and Calm apps.
- Headspace also runs bite-size guided meditations for anyone who is busy (who isn’t?) All you do is sign up for a free trial at Headspace or you could find meditation courses online but they state they can be expensive from
- If you are having trouble sleeping (that’s me) then they say there is evidence that mindfulness works. The technique that has the most mental health studies supporting it is mindfulness-based ‘Cognitive Therapy‘, and there is an abundance of details online.
- If you prefer to be taught personally then they recommend Vedic and Transcendental Meditation which are courses you can start with a one-to-one lesson when you’re given your mantra. Find Vedic and Transcendental Meditation from this website.
- If your feeling angry or lonely then they suggest you try loving-kindness meditation, where you repeat a positive mantra. Visit Ten Percent Happier for details on this.
Although I’ve never personally tried yoga I do envy devotees of the exercise. I think it’s something I really should at least try as I keep reading the many health benefits to Yoga.
They say that an hour on the mat may lead to a better night’s sleep, which we could all do with. It doesn’t just tone your body it cares for our bodies as well as our emotional well-being.
Studies show yoga can also help to lower blood pressure, ease migraines and back pain and even reduce some of the symptoms of the menopause.
Yoga will improve your flexibility and balance and with a number of poses focusing on breathing it will also help to lower your stress levels.
There are a number of different styles of yoga, Hatha can be gentle or dynamic but because of its slower pace, it’s the first choice for new starters of yoga.
Others include Vinyasa flow, which is great for anyone who loves to dance. It’s a flowing yoga which is suitable to all levels even if you have not done yoga before.
Lyengar yoga is a slow paced style of yoga with some tricky poses but age and flexibility are not an issue.
The other well known Bikram yoga is suitable for the physically fit with a demanding 26 pose sequence which takes place in a very hot room.
Ash tanga is a series of short-held poses and breathing techniques that will need a good level of fitness.
Kundalini, they say is for the soul-seeker as it features chanting, breathing, and rapid movements.
Finally, Restorative yoga is for anyone who is stressed out as this type of yoga is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. Most of the poses involve lying down and staying still for a while so it won’t take long before you feel completely relaxed and stressed out.
One of my closest friends gave me this lovely tile with the words ‘Never, never give up’ to help me on my hardest days. I have it where I can see it every day to inspire and motivate me when I’m down.
Four simple words is all it takes to work for me but I have to admit I use mantras from inspirational people. I would repeat and repeat the saying when I go to bed. Like some people count sheep to go to sleep you can always repeat your mantra over and over again as you drift off to sleep.
According to Wikipedia a mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. Mantra meditation helps to induce an altered state of consciousness. A mantra may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal meaning. Wikipedia
You can find a number of videos on mantras for pain on YouTube to keep repeating to yourself and you can also buy this book, Healing Mantras on the subject, which you can also listen to. Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand which has four star reviews and one review saying, I love this book – it provides a really interesting insight into the power of sound and its significance to different religions and ethnic groups. The mantras are fun & satisfying to learn and come with background information, explaining the meaning and origin of each. He also gives examples of how they have been used by himself or others & the perceived results. Overall it’s a very positive pursuit & gives any reader another tool with which to influence their own life.
Health.com say as little as 30 seconds of using a mantra can dampen unpleasant sensations, says Ellen Slawsby, PhD, director of Pain Services at the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Slawsby recommends a picking neutral or positive word or phrase rather than a sound.
“That’s using something inborn, an internal mechanisms to elicit your own endorphins or endogenous morphine,” she says.
Simple words and phrases have the power to interrupt negativity and invite change in life. Discover how mantras can affect your well-being. Sonima explains how They have been around for at least 3,000 years, but mantras are having a mainstream moment. We meditate on them. We find them in pop songs that encourage us to “Let It Go” and get “Happy.” We tape them to our fridges and computers, pin them to our Pinterest boards, InstaQuote them on Instagram. On her website she has nine empowering mantras to shift your mindset.
Putting healing words into our thoughts is a personal thing but if we find any benefit from this type of meditation then it certainly has to be worth trying.
‘What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do’ – Timothy Ferriss
Its been written about many times but now they say we should all benefit from meditation but its something that you need to keep practising to see the benefits.
A basic meditation which you could try for 10 minutes each day is to start by finding a quiet space and sit comfortably with your hands on your lap, keeping your back straight and neck relaxed.
Now breathe deeply and gaze into the middle distance and take nice deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and on the last exhalation, close your eyes,
Notice your posture, the weight of your arms and hands, the sensation of your body touching the chair, your feet on the ground and what you might smell, hear or taste.
Now turn your mind inwards to scan your body from head to toe, observing any tension or discomfort then scan again making a note of the parts of your body that feel the most relaxed.
Notice any thoughts that arise without trying to alter them.
Now observe the rising and falling of your breathing in your body and where the sensations occur. Focus on the quality of each breath, deep or shallow, long or short, fast or slow.
Count 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 on the next inhalation and carry on in this pattern until you get to 10. Repeat this five or six times and if any thoughts appear to guide your attention back to your breathing.
Spend 20 to 30 seconds just sitting then slowly become aware of everything and slowly open your eyes.