Relaxation for Healing from Anxiety and PTSD
Relaxation and Meditation
What is it? And how simple can you make it?
Does your heart sink when people talk about Relaxation and meditation? Sometimes, people can just make the simplest of things complicated. You start to read about it and it just sounds so complicated that you think “I don’t have time for that!” Or “Are you kidding? My head is just not going to stop spinning enough to relax!” I’ll let you into a little secret, it isn’t as complicated as some people like to make it out to be.
Let me ask you a question, do you daydream? Have you ever asked yourself what you would do if you won the lottery? Did your mind wander when you booked a holiday, a vacation somewhere warm and sunny? Did it become stressful because you knew who would be going with you? Now, think about it if they weren’t going with you? How would you felt? Calmer?
More relaxed? You would, right?
Now, what if you could go on that vacation, not cost you a single cent or penny? Just for five minutes, maybe ten? Maybe you could stretch it out for a whole full hour? Would you feel recharged? Do you think if you took a vacation for an hour you may come back as relaxed as you would if you had gone for a massage? Filled with warmth, relax, floating with positivity? Instead of living in the past, you could be living in the present. You can retrain your mind. Don’t get me wrong it won’t happen overnight but it will happen for you.
It is about becoming aware of yourself, the way you feel, sense and think about what is happening around you. This can help transform your way of life and the way you look at it and the people around you. It helps you to take stock of matters and what is irrelevant to you, which personal battles to pick and which to drop because they are just not worth your health or stress. Simply, understand the purpose, remain in the present while you are there and never become judgmental, easy, right?
Personally, I was always one of those kids in school constantly getting told off for daydreaming and not concentrating on the lesson. I looked at it as my little escapes from reality as my childhood was not easy, living with a narcissistic parent. Life was tough, daydreaming was easy, and I could be a top ballerina, an astronaut, floating in space. I could be anything I wanted in a daydream and no-one could enter it unless I wanted them too, the only people who truly disturbed it, were the teachers, with a “Claire! Are you listening to me?” The reply was always the “Yes, of course.” then drifted back into my personal space.
One day, when I was at prenatal class with my first child, the lady taking it announced how we were going to learn relaxation and meditation. A heavy sigh from all the expectant mothers filled the air but slowly we listened to her, within minutes were all walking along our own personal beaches, listening to the waves, as our toes wiggled in the golden sand of our minds. It was bliss, perfect bliss. The perfect escape for a cold, wintry day in Yorkshire in England.
The secret no-one really tells you, is that you can’t mess it up, really! There’s no-one there to tell you what you are doing wrong, doing right. It’s all yours and no-one can enter your space within in it. You hold the rights to it all.
How To Relax and Meditate.
Relaxation and meditation a simple technique, involving three main parts – breath, body and mind. Through our meditative breathing, we bring together our mind and body.
First, find a comfortable, peaceful, calm place for yourself to relax. Make sure there are no disturbances while doing your meditation, nothing that can interfere with your “me time.”
Next thing is to find a seat for you. Use a pillow or a chair or whatever you feel comfortable in. Sit straight but not rigid. Being comfortable is the key.
If life is very hectic and the only time you get to relax is in the tub, then run a warm, relaxing bath. I like this as I can lock the door, put on relaxing music and drift into meditation. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep!
Now you can close your eyes if that helps you in meditating or you can let your attention drift up to the ceiling. Relax your eyes so you can’t focus on anything. Slowly, become aware of your breathing and the movement of your body as you breathe. Do not try to control or regulate your breathing, just let it flow naturally and become aware of its flow.
If you have difficulty slowly count one slowly for an intake of breath and two, again very slowly as you exhale. The repetition will help you melt into relaxation.
Feel your body relax becoming quietly aware of your feet slowly relaxing, as your mind drifts up through your body, you can, if you’re struggling tense and relax your muscles as you work up to the top of your head.
After body and breath, the next thing is your thoughts. These thoughts come and go, hopping from one to another. Become aware of them. Look at them, feel them coming and then disappearing. You may find your mind has wandered way off to something gently bring it back to the present. Let the thoughts follow their natural flow.
I always start on a beach I know in England. It is small, with five, wide, curving steps down onto the sand, the gray sea, gently lapping lazily, in rhythm. Find your own perfect little place to start each time. The routine will help. When you find yourself there you can drift in the present, the situations you are having difficulties with, staying calm, never judgmental, like an observer, looking in.
Each time, you finish your relaxation time, tell yourself, an affirmation or a quote, you want to apply to you or your life and repeat it three times, do this it will slowly program your mind into believing it. Tell yourself “I am worthy.” “I am beautiful.” “I am smart and intelligent.” Find something that is important to you!
If you are a beginner, start with doing it for 10-15 minutes. Gradually, you can increase the time to 30-45 minutes.
What you’ll find.
Relaxation and meditation have many benefits, especially ones related to the mind. You may discover:
It helps in relieving some of your stress, tension, and anxiety.
It brings together mind and body, which helps to overcome suffering and gaining your own wisdom.
It can heal depression and psychological problems.
It also helps in mood swings and helps you in feeling more happiness and joy in life.
It is known to enhance memory, concentration power, and creativity.
It helps you in showing compassion and love to yourself. Your life may be immensely difficult and hard, right now, but once you master relaxation and meditation, you will find your life changing.
Give it a try! It does become routine after a while, which in turn makes it easy. Practice makes perfect and this is on your own terms, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it as many times as you would like. It’s your tool to use when and where you can, simply.