Meditation

2 Simple Meditation Practices During Times of Stress

Close your eyes.

Take a long, deep, conscious breath of awareness in.

Let it fill your lungs then let it fill your belly.

Do you feel that?

You are full. Full of life.

You are safe.

Take a long exhale and let go of fear.

Inhale peace, calm, and safety and exhale chaos, worry, and danger.

Repeat.

Rachele, @thenourishedone

Siiiggghhhhhh.

Where do I begin?

I recently shared an Instagram post about how I’m feeling in regards to #COVID19

I want to first acknowledge that the #Coronavirus is REAL. It is HAPPENING. We are living through a CRISIS.

I’d also like to thank all of the people on the front lines who are risking their health to take care of those infected with the virus. I see you. I appreciate you. And I am grateful for you.

Like most of us, I’m trying to navigate my feelings and worries around #COVID19. We have all been affected by this virus in some way (even if it’s in our psyche) and I’m seeing a lot of disruptive anxiety related to this virus online and in my own life. I have come to realize that I am in control of what media I consume and I cannot let the fear override the facts that have to do with the virus.

In times like these I think it’s important to practice self-care more than ever. Besides washing my hands like I just touched a bushel of cut jalapeƱo peppers and really need to take an eyelash out of my eye, I am also educating myself about the virus. I have decided to inform myself about the Covid-19 through reliable studies, articles, and other reputable sources that I vetted and researched myself.

We are completely in control of everything that enters our minds via our environment. Besides committing to watching movies (mostly documentaries) 6 months ago and completely stopping to watch sitcoms and dramas on TV, I have decided to avoid the news and social media completely when corrupt, incorrect, and fear inducing messages about the virus are being shared. In addition, I have turned off notifications in group chats, muted chats, and limited conversations where the chatter is all about fears, worries, and anxieties associated with the virus and have directed conversations to other topics when on the phone or when talking with others in person.

Not only are we in control of what enters our mind, we are completely in control of our actions. This is why I think it’s so important that in a crisis like this we start to act by taking better care of our bodies, minds, and souls. For me, this all starts with meditation.

But why meditation and not just taking all the supplements?

Meditation brings us closer together because it is a VERY powerful exercise. When we practice being aware and observing the mind without judgement, we raise our vibrations. And if we all practice meditation, we can raise global vibrations and make positive changes. I truly believe that because I have experienced and I have seen how meditations eases the chatter of the mind, that “lizard brain”. The part of our minds that induces our flight and fight response; the thing that causes fear.

Here are 2 of my favourite and most simple types of meditation and some resources so you can get started.

1. BREATH MEDITATION

  • Sit in a comfortable position and observe your breath for at least 1 minute (I believe meditation doesn’t need to take hours, if all you can do is 1 minute that’s good enough).
  • Breathe in and out slowly making sure each inhale is as long as each exhale.
  • Relax all your muscles starting from your head (forehead, eyes, mouth, neck) and moving down towards your toes.
  • Whenever a thought enters your mind, welcome it, observe it, and let it go by focusing on your breath. Don’t react to it, just be aware of it and let it go with your exhale.
  • Repeat for however long you need.

2. Gratitude Meditation

  • Start in a seated comfortable position, eyes open or closed.
  • This meditation starts off with focusing on all of the good things in your life that you are grateful for. Here are some ideas of what you can focus on:
    • “I am grateful to be alive.”
    • “I am grateful for my health.”
    • “I am grateful for my breath.”
  • Next, you will focus on the other. You will extend your gratitude to someone else. For example:
    • “I am grateful for my family/friend/spouse/children.”
    • “I am grateful for my friends and family who are not close by.”
    • “I am grateful for those who have hurt me.”
  • The beautiful thing about this meditation is to extend love and kindness to EVERYONE, even those who have hurt us. By extending forgiveness and love their way we feel more at peace in ourselves.
  • You can even extend gratitude to those working on the front lines during this outbreak such as:
    • “I am grateful for all of the courageous nurses.”
    • “I am grateful for the medical teams working around the clock.”
    • “I am grateful for government agencies and organizations who are putting measures in place to protect the world.”

Meditation is a practice, a mental exercise, and it’s not always meant to be pleasurable… although by the end of it, it is.

To me meditation is at times like a physical workout, challenging, but at the end I feel relieved, my mind is more clear, I feel less reactive, and I have more energy than before.

Some things I have done to make my meditation practice more enjoyable include:

  1. Setting up a meditation nook or corner with a comfy chair or pillows.
  2. Lighting an all natural scented candle to set the mood for my meditation and looking at the flame.
  3. Listening to calming music while meditating. I love listening to binary beats or calming sounds of nature.
  4. Meditating with a partner (family, friends, spouse, or child).
  5. Following a guided meditation on an app or on YouTube.
My current Morning Gratitude Guided Meditation.

I hope these 2 Simple Meditation Practices help calm your mind during these times of uncertainty. These strategies can be used at all times, not just in times of stress or fear. I do a 5-10 minute meditation practice every morning (usually revolving around gratitude) because it helps me set my intentions for the day. It also directs me towards the identity of the person I want to be: a calm, aware, and neutral person who gives value to the world.

If you would like to know more about meditation click the links below:

Sending you all gratitude, love, and kindness as you take control through meditation during this difficult time.

Let me know if you use any of these meditation techniques by tagging me on Instagram and by using the hashtag #intheNO. While you’re on my IG Page don’t forget to check out my other Self-Care highlights see more ways you can practice self-care during this chaotic time.

As always, I look forward to feedback. Do you want more meditation practices and strategies? Do you want to know more about other types of self-care practices? Let me know in the comments below.

Yours in finding calm within the chaos,

Rachele

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