How Meditation Creates Space
It can get tough out there! When we live with anxious feelings and worried thoughts, we are usually living in fear of what might be coming our way in the future. Often times, without any real idea of what we are really scared of. It is easy for the mind to focus on the bad things that might happen than it is to appreciate each passing moment. This is a function of the brains defense mechanism trying to protect us from danger.
Our brains are conditioned to survive and these thoughts are a function linked to the amygdala (a defense response in the brain that is instinctively meant to save us from dangerous situations such as deadly predators from the prehistoric times.)
Since we have greatly evolved since the stone age, we have gained many more effective ways to protect ourselves from these threats. This reptilian part of the brain, however, still exists and actually carries more power than our more recently acquired human brain (prefrontal cortex.)
Thinking about the future is a constant battle, because we will never know the final outcome. This only leaves us with a bunch of “what if’s” and many unanswered questions.
The power of meditation has been harnessed for many centuries, and we are beginning to hear more and more about the benefits in our modern. Many people practice meditation in hopes of reducing stress by developing awareness and shifting perception.
Not only is meditation an amazing way to calm the mind and alter states by slowing down the frequency of brainwaves, but there is much evidence supporting that meditation may be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to treating anxiety and everyday worry.
The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future.
People who have trouble with anxiety and fearful thinking have trouble distinguishing between a problem-solving thought that may benefit them and a nagging worry that is ultimately pointless. With meditation, we are able to achieve a state of awareness where we can observe our thinking patterns without getting involved in the noise. We literally create space between our thoughts
It is from this state that we are able to tell the difference between which thoughts are actually benefiting us and which thoughts we can let go — allowing them to drift away. This is how we create room for mental clarity and proper energy flow.
Awareness is the first step in eliminating unnecessary thoughts. Just the act of closing your eyes and focusing on deep breaths is enough to activate the relaxation response. This helps slow down our thinking by literally creating space between our thought pattern.
The original intention of meditation was not to eliminate suffering by lowering blood pressure or strengthening the prefrontal cortex. The traditional approach to meditation is to eliminate our suffering by shifting perspective . By turning our attention away from our physical world where our problems seem important, we are more able to develop a strong sense of deep inner awareness.
Becoming aware of the body and simply observing the inner dialogue of the mind is an extremely powerful way to create some positive space between our self and external pressure. It is from this clear perspective we are more able to approach everyday life from a place of joy, energy, gratitude, positive progress and productivity.
A Few Simple Tips and Techniques For An Effective Meditation Practice
- Get Comfortable
- Sit straight up with a straight back, or lay down — whatever feels right at the moment.
-Use soft music, brainwave audio or silence.
-Try to designate a specific spot where you will not be disturbed. This will become your meditation area.
- Allow Your Mind To Settle
-Close your eyes, feel your body.
-Start with 5 deep, slow breaths — in through the nose and out through the mouth.
-Notice the oxygen flow through every cell of your body. Your mind begins to settle.
-Don’t resist any thoughts, allow them to come and allow them to pass through. You can acknowledge them but you have the choice not to follow them and eventually you will notice that they will completely fade away until there is nothing left. This is the process of your mind cleaning out the clutter.
- Observe and Feel
-Observe your inner dialogue.
-Feel your body and become aware of the sensations you feel. Notice the energy flowing through.
-Allow yourself to sink. Accept the moment and let go.
-If your mind starts to drift just refocus with 5 breaths and feel of your body.
Eventually – with practice – you should feel pure focus. Hold this focus for as long as feels appropriate (start with 2 minutes and work your way up
Meditation practiced for a total of 20 minutes each day can produce very profound effects on the mind and quality of life. It emphasizes acceptance of feelings and thoughts without judgment and relaxation of body and mind. Don’t forget to be grateful for your meditation time. Saying thanks will reinforce this time as a positive ritual and strengthen the energy!