Meditation is a great tool for mental health that we should apply to our everyday life more often. Mental health is a big part of a person’s wellness as big as the physical health. Very often nowadays we concentrate on our physical health more than our mental health without realizing that they are equally important. Here are some meditation tips and visualizations I want to share with you to make meditating easier.
What is meditation?
Meditation is not about right or wrong. It’s not about being a Chinese Buddhist, Tibetian monk, Christian, Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim or Jewish. It’s about the ability to give up any attempt to change our experience at all in life and in the meditation practice. A mindfulness course I took recently thought me that mindfulness is all about our experience-being present with it and letting our mind be a non-judgmental witness to our core experience. If we have anxiety, we note that, and we remain present with that experience.
Some days, during meditation, our minds are restless and stormy. (Like winter in Chicago!) One of the very first things we need to learn is accepting and being present with “the weather of our minds.” Some days, our minds are clear and sunny (Like Californian sky!) , and we are able to be present with a sense of unbroken attention. Some days, we’re completely choppy and there’s a wind blowing, clouding our minds. (Again like winter in Chicago on a windy day!) And still, we’re present with that. Some days, there’s dense fog, and we’re just feeling dull. We stay present. The basic intention of mindfulness is being contented, open, and present with whatever is occurring in our experience, and just being as we are, whatever or whoever that may be.
Can I meditate?
YES, you can! Meditating is NOT EASY, though! As simple as it sounds, sitting in one place and not thinking about anything is more difficult than we think. (But it’s 100% worth it!) Trying only to sit in one place makes us feel like a grounded child, the more you shouldn’t move the more you want/need to move. Trying to quiet your mind at the same time and stop all your thoughts. The voice of your brain saying: “Am I not doing it right? I will never be able to sit for 60min straight and not think about anything! My leg is itching! Oh, my back hurts in this position! The boss is an asshole! Maybe I shouldn’t have said that 10 years ago arguing with my sister! Other people are responsible for my unhappiness!!!!” and so on and so on you get the point.
Am I doing it right?
I am going to assure you that no meditation practice is the same as another. It’s not the same as other people’s practices. Some days your mind will be unusually loud, some days it will be quiet. Learn not to judge the moment, learn not to judge yourself or your mind for not being able to silent itself at the moment. Help it! Try your best to help it in the moments that it’s not as silent as you would like it to be. Don’t give up on your meditation practice in the days you think you are too stressed, or too tired to concentrate and meditate. Those are the moments you need it the most
Allow yourself to try even for 15-20 min, (or start with 5-10 min if 20 seems like a lot.) Your mind is going to loud and wandering but try to bring it back every time you notice that it does that. Trust me those 15-20 mins will help, even if you are not in deep meditation the whole time. After that, your mind will be 20 steps further in its quietness than it was before that.
Having that clarified, here are some of the practices that help me quiet my mind and bring it back every time it wanders around. Try them and find the one that suits you best. The one that seems like more fun.Depending on the length of your practice and even your mood.
What do I think about when I think about nothing? (Visualization Tips)
Visualizing light is one of the ways to quiet your mind and keep it still. Visualize a light glowing from your body inside out and slowly going to every part of your body. Think of different color light or just let it come naturally to your mind. Let the light spread with every breath you take and become brighter.
2. Chakra visualization(colors).
You can focus on the specific chakra that you need balanced or on all of them little by little. Depending on what you want to focus on and the time you have. Visualize light slowly spreading through your whole body from the center of the specific chakra in the color of the chakra. Alternatively, you can visualize objects in the chakra color – fruit, flowers, etc, everything that you can think of in the color of the charka you wish to balance.
Chakra Color Tips:
- Root Chakra – Red light spreading from the base of your spine through your whole body and grounding you with each breath you take.
- Sacral Chakra – Orange light spreading from your lower belly.
- Solar Chakra -Yellow light spreading from your solar plexus area trough your whole body.
- Heart Chakra – Green light spreading from the center of your chest.
- Throat Chakra – Blue,turqoise,aquamarine colored light from the level of your throat.
- Third Eye Chakra – Deep indigo blue,purple light spreading from
between the eyebrows, slightly above at the bridge of your nose.
- Crown Chakra – White or Deep Purple light from the top of your head spreading in and over your whole body.
(I will link another post with more information about each chakra)
3. Focus on your breathing.
Take deep breaths, inhaling visualize the air going from your nose all the way up to your head and whole body. On exhaling visualize it completely coming out of your body so it can be filled up with a fresh and new one on the next inhale. Sometimes I imagine it making an infinity sign inhaling going through my spine, making the twist in my belly and up exhaling.
4. Inhale what you need,exhale what you want to release.
This practice can be used depending on the intentions you want to set for yourself, for the week, for the month, for this exact practice.
Examples of it could be: Inhale positivity, exhale negativity. Inhale tranquility, exhale anxiety. Inhale health, exhale illness. Inhale self-love, exhale self-judgment, and so on. Personalize it as much as you like, again depending on all your soul needs for the moment and is ready to release.
5. Place visualization.
Where is your HAPPY PLACE? (Honestly, it’s within, but that’s not the point here). Imagine the place you were happy, imagine a place you love, a place that brings you tranquility. A place you have been to or completely imaginary place. The house you grew up in or your dream house. It can be in nature – beautiful beach, mountains top with a beautiful view, any place that brings you joy, peace, and a feeling of balance. Focus on the details, feel it, feel it like you are there. With all your senses, imagine the smell of it, the breeze, the sun touching your skin.
No matter what we are going through we all have moments of those beautiful feelings of happiness, joy, and love that we have bottled up inside us. This is the time to open that bottle. Remember a time of this happy, happy feeling that you once had. Go back there and notice how it felt on your body, let it spread through your whole body again. Love, joy,happiness, excitement, pride.Find the one you want and experience it again trough your meditation.
Try any of those in silent meditation,group meditation,or sound meditation.The more you practice,the easier it gets.I promise!Namaste!