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.
We are 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.
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 your past experiences and perceptions of people, situations and events. The right brain is “of the moment.” Best of all, it cannot hold onto 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 you to access the power of your right brain in ways that are beneficial to a happier, more peaceful and healthier life. 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, by your past experiences, perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Complicating this process is the input of information and commands from others–parents, friends, family, religious doctrines, advertising, big business and both written and unwritten rules–whether well-intentioned, helpful, kind, informed or not. As a result, a substantial amount of what you think, feel and do has been left to chance–or “programmed” by others playing around with your motherboard. There is no doubt that these factors have had a profound impact and influence, possibly positively and/or negatively, on how you consciously and unconsciously perceive yourself, your abilities and your life. Through meditation or guided discussion and self-hypnosis, you can reprogram any outdated, destructive, self-limiting thoughts and behaviors preventing you from being the person you want to be and achieving the life you desire.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. Begin by finding 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 — which will help to get more oxygen circulating — and then, 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. 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.) 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 (I am a certified hypnotist and card-carrying hypnotherapist Union member!) If you’d like to try a free power hypnosis meditation, you can download one that I recorded at www.turbocharged.us.com There are many downloadable options offered by others at the App Store. Download a few and test them out. In the future, I’ll share some 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 what superhero you can emulate by staying awake yet retaining your 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 judgement and 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. If you’re not sure which ones are worth listening to–ask me and I’ll give you are variety of free suggestions. 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!