Updated: Sep 13, 2022
In a word… stress!
The modern lifestyle
Today, we’re constantly on the go… school run, sleeping on the way in, working all day, eating on the go, work, sleeping on the commute home, dinner, kids, bath time, bed time stories, cleaning, television or movie, bed and ground hog day.
If this isn't your scenario, then surely it looks something like this version... exercise, get ready, juice on the go, read on commute (wait no commute anymore - straight to laptop), work, make dinner, clean up after dinner, watch something to unwind, bed and repeat and with a version of either scenario we're constantly on our phones or other multitude of devices (laptops, smart watches, tablets) with multiple comms channels with our friends, teams, family etc. It's draining... we're tiring ourselves out; our eyes, our minds, our bodies - putting pressure on ourselves to keep up with everyone and everything.
We're exposing ourselves to so many sensory - and therefore mental, physical and emotional messages on a daily basis (posters, billboards, taxis, buses, trains, online, newspapers, conversations, music, fast food, food on the go etc) that we can often lose focus and find it challenging to centre ourselves. Do you need to slow down and take time for yourself? I know I do. I literally have Whatsapp, Teams, Slack, Email and regular phone calls with my work teams and it's exhausting.
When stress builds up, our body begins to shut down. This stress often expresses itself as a physcail illness, tension or tiredness in the mind, body and emotional spaces we hold. This can impact our behaviour, mood and our nerves too. Do you find that you get frustrated and short with your family and friends after a day of work? I used to do this and struggled with just having a normal conversation with my family because I was burnt out from my day.
So, how do we avoid or reduce anxiety and manage stress levels in a modern world? More and more of us are turning to meditation. But meditation should also be considered as a way of bringing things into balance (peace, love, energy, focus) and a way of seeing. Rather than just a relief tool, we can utilise meditation and resetting techniques to set us up for the day or intermittently throughout the day by taking a few moments to move away from your work space, be alone, walk and breathe to neutralise your Self from the experiences that have occured in the day so far.
Here are five meditation tips for beginners that you can try (start with 1-3 mins a day and increase over time):
Sit comfortably, focus on a candle flame and just breathe in a quiet space
Sit or lay on your back, close your eyes and listen to your breath
Sit or lay down, listen to a guided visual meditation with eyes closed
Sit or lay down, light a scented candle or incense, close your eyes and breathe
Lay down placing your hand to heart and the other to the belly and feel the breath, visualising it enter, create space and release from the body
Take time to look after you!
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