Wow have I had a week of gratitude! I’ve been much more appreciative of the positive events and amazing people in my life this week. Just this morning, I looked down at my Green Monster [smoothie] and was utterly thankful for each of the ingredients, that I could sit at my computer and enjoy this lovely treat.
Taking this time with my breakfast brought me to a place of calmness, where I took a moment to marvel at the life’s pleasures. This calmness relaxed me, and perfectly set the tone for this very article!
Relax and Breathe!
Next up on the growth value line up is relaxation and breathing. They truly go hand in hand.
If there’s anyone who knows the importance of relaxation it should be me. For years following my decision to be good to myself, I struggled with copious amounts of stress. I let every little thing get to me, and as a result my digestion suffered greatly.
This was a huge challenge. I knew what I was doing to myself but couldn’t stop my brain from bouncing all over the place, causing undue panic. It wasn’t until my Mom inspired me to attend a week long meditation retreat at the Chopra center that things began to look up.
When I began planning our Journey to Health series, I knew that my Mom would be a perfect guest to explain the benefits of breathing, relaxing, and meditation. Her personal experience with these values made her a perfect fit!
As a quick intro, taken from Deepak Chopra:
Primordial sound meditation is a healing practice that allows us to experience inner calm and deep relaxation. It isn’t about forcing your mind to be quiet, but experiencing the quiet that is already there.
Thoughts on Meditation
Hello Healthful Pursuit readers, this is Mary, from Crystalis Era, a meditation education studio in Calgary. Leanne, my daughter approached me with the opportunity to write something for her blog about relaxation and breathing. Before I can go onto that you should know that from the time Leanne could stand on a chair propped in front of the kitchen counter, she has loved to cook.
Meditation has been around for thousands of years. I started on the Primordial Sound Meditation journey in my quest for something more; something deeper than the societal push to acquire more. The saying, ‘the teacher arrives when the student is ready,’ was my experience.
Two years after becoming a Chopra certified PSM educator, both my husband and I lost our jobs; he was diagnosed with cancer and just before chemotherapy, he broke his ankle; his brother died of cancer as did his mother that same year. Without our meditation practice, I’m not sure how we would have survived. Meditation takes you beyond the human experience and suffering. As you listen to the quiet you become aware of the listener-that is your soul. It’s the space between your thoughts. That presence is always there. As you practice meditation, you become intimate with your soul; beyond fear, even beyond death.
If you want to learn more about meditation, come visit me over at Crystalis Era.
Take a breath
Here are some of the techniques I use on a daily basis to ‘keep my cool’, ground myself, and stay focused:
- Start with a stretch in the morning. Breathe deeply through each stretch [if you do yoga, try to practice a ujjayi breath]
- If you begin to panic, step away from everything for a moment [going to the bathroom works well]. Stand in the stall, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Connect with your breath; listen to the noise it makes. Stay in this place until you feel calm.
- Go to your Gratitude Journal and read through some of your latest entries
- Hug a person you love. Stay with them for a moment. Breathe deep and connect with them.
- Plug in some classical music! After a long day at the office I can be found rocking out to CBC Radio on my drive home. By the time I’ve arrived home, I’m calm, relaxed, and my mind is clear.
- Take time for you. Set aside 30 minutes of your evening for you time. Chose an activity that resonates with you. Maybe it’s taking a bath, reading a book, writing in your journal, stretching in the living room, cooking… whatever it is. Give yourself this time in silence to just be with yourself.
What techniques do you use to relax yourself? Do you find it easier to relax if you pay attention to your breath?