Meditation & Relaxation
It has finally happened! Meditation has become mainstream!
I am sure everyone reading this knows someone who meditates and I'm sure they have told you about the amazing benefits.
Perhaps you have tried it yourself, but have not been able to 'get it' or find any benefit from it?
The advise here is, to keep trying!
Even the NHS is now recognising the benefits of mindfulness - so much so, it is now being recommended for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, only it goes by a different name; Effective Rest & Relaxation (ERR).
Mindfulness and meditation sounds like one of those 'woo woo' things that it can be easy to dismiss. However, the simplest way to explain how it works is this.
In this day and age, we are ALWAYS busy. We can often find ourselves doing one thing and thinking about the next thing, and the next thing, long before we have even finished what we are doing. There's always something else that needs doing and we live in an era where we are more time-poor now than previous generations.
It can be difficult to recognise, but the constant 'business' of our brains takes its toll on our bodies. Did you know that our brains use energy to think? If we are constantly thinking and never stopping the thinking, and then it moves onto the worrying, and then the panicking, we can stress our minds out, but this can also have implications for our bodies. So the term 'psychosomatic' has more meaning here than 'it's all in your head'. Your brain can actually create physical ailments in the body, without us even realising.
Mindfulness, or ERR can give our brains the chance to chill out, which in turn, can give our bodies the opportunity to properly relax. Imagine your brain is like a spinning cog, and that cog is turning all of the gears and mechanisms in your body. Now imagine that cog never getting the chance to be turned off? What happens if your computer never gets turned off?
Meditation/mindfulness/ERR, which name you want to call it, gives that cog and chance to slow down. It may not happen the first few times, or you may fall asleep, but that is why it is called meditation practise.
It isn't necessarily easy, and sometimes being alone with our thoughts can bring things up we would rather not think about. But equally, holding onto those things and not dealing with them is not good for us either.
This writer has experience with meditation - I tried it for years and just couldn't get it. Until finally, I watched a video on youtube on somatic meditation, where I didn't have to close my eyes, or try to think of 'nothingness'. I can't imagine many people find it easy to clear their minds or think of nothing. But this particular video was very helpful.
There are many different apps out there, some of which offer a free trial. Calm, Balance and Relax Melodies to name a few. And there are plenty of videos on youtube - however it can be very annoying when the ads pop up when you are mid-flow (or just about to doze off!). The following website lists 9 apps that you can download for free: 9 free meditation apps you can download right now 2022 | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)
Our brains and bodies really are amazing - bodyscan meditations are great for relaxing different body parts with our minds! Yes, this is actually possible and this is a huge part of ERR. Do you ever say to yourself 'I just can't seem to relax'? You might think it won't work, but what do you have to lose?