Meditation is a non-negotiable, daily must-do for me. It focuses my mind while calming my heart..literally! Meditation keeps me grounded in what matters when there is chaos around me that needs to be observed rather than joined. It puts me in a far more peaceful state so I’m ready to deal with the inevitable stress of the day.
We are each made up of our spirit (energy), our soul (mind, will and emotions), and our bodies (physical being). If these are not aligned and at peace, we are likely to become anxious, struggle with depression and act irrationally in ways that are hurtful to ourselves and others. Can we all agree that’s not good? 😉
The brain, as you probably know, has two hemispheres. Science tells us that left brain thought processes are logical, analytical and judgmental. They are tied into our past experiences and perceptions of people, situations and events. The right brain is “of the moment.” Best of all, it cannot hold onto our past hurts and traumas because it has no past. Life in the right brain exists strictly in terms of present possibilities.
Self-hypnosis and other forms of meditation, allow us to access the power of the right side of our brains in ways that are beneficially conducive to happier, more peaceful and healthier lives. Imagine your mind as a magnificent computer. It has memory banks that store all of your past experiences. Like a computer, it can also be programmed: And it has been programmed by both people and past experiences along with all of your perceptions, thoughts and feelings about those people and experiences. Complicating this programming process is the input of information and commands that we on-goingly receive and consciously and unconsciously attempt to filter and process from day-to-day existence with parents and children, friends, family, religious doctrines, advertising, big business and both written and unwritten rules–whether these are all well-intentioned, helpful, kind, informed or not. As a result, a substantial amount of what we each think, feel and do has been left to chance–or “programmed” by others playing around with our “motherboards”. There is no doubt that these factors have had a profound impact and influence — whether positively, negatively and most likely a combination of both — on how we each consciously and unconsciously perceive ourselves, our abilities and our lives. Through meditation or guided discussion and self-hypnosis, we can reprogram any outdated, destructive, self-limiting thoughts and behaviors that may be preventing us from becoming and acting as the persons we want to be while achieving the lives we desire.
Embracing your brain’s inherent power to heal and guide your life constructively is easier than you might imagine–but it will take practice. I regularly share all kinds of breathing tips that are paired with visual nature images which are filed under “Breathe” in my stored Instagram Stories and can be found here. Additionally, I offer free guided meditations on my podcast. Check out both.
But to begin relaxing any time you feel stress building, try this relaxation tip. Find any quiet place where you can be undisturbed for one to five minutes (more is always great…but not always possible.) Even a bathroom stall works. Quiet is not essential, but nice. Close your eyes, take two or three deep breaths in through your nose — which will help to get more oxygen circulating — and then, release them through your mouth. Start to aim for even in and out breaths that are more normal and steady. Just focus on the in and out of those breaths. If your mind is drifting, say: “I’m breathing in relaxation” on the intake breath and “I’m breathing out stress” as you release the breath. Note– you don’t need hours for this exercise. One-minute can make a world of difference in how you see the world!
For one whole week, practice stopping for one whole minute (or more if possible) throughout your day. Just breathing and not thinking. If you notice yourself having a thought, gently identify it as “a thought” and get back to focusing on the in and out breaths. Once you’ve gotten used to the idea of simply stopping for a minute– you will notice the benefits and most likely you’ll feel positively addicted.
When I can grab more time, or right before going to bed, I like to either focus on longer sessions of steady quiet breathing or listen to a self-hypnosis recording. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis so don’t let the word scare you. These are just guided journeys into relaxation that typically range in time from 15 to 45 minutes in length–yet, they can leave you feeling like you can take on whatever the world is throwing in your direction. When I find I’ve got a lot on my mind, I prefer hypnosis (as I mentioned I am a certified hypnotist and card-carrying hypnotherapist Union member!) As such, if you’d like to test out what a guided free power hypnosis meditation feel like, I share a variety of them on on my Dian Griesel podcast which can be found here and is also available for free on all major channels like Spotify, iTunes, Breaker, Google and more. Be sure to subscribe because in the future, I’ll share plenty more of my personal favorites.
Before ending this page, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention sleep. I don’t care what you read that says 4 hours of sleep is “fine” or whether you believe you can emulate some high-profile executive or superhero who claims to stay awake for 20+ hours at a time while retaining their super powers: Everyone eventually crashes from lack of sleep and no one functions at their optimal level on less than 7 hours of sound rest. In fact, there’s plenty of research stating that those lacking sleep exhibit poor judgement and dangerous actions similar to those who are drunk. That’s not good.
If you can’t sleep, download a guided meditation, put on some headphones and listen until you find yourself relaxed or asleep. With a great guided meditation or hypnosis recording, you’ll drift off into a totally restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the world!