Guest Writer: Kyrin Sowah
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a free way to eliminate all the stress from a tough day at the office or control the anxiety faced from tending to a couple of rowdy kids at home? Well there is, it’s called meditation. Meditating can be traced all the way back to the Hindus of the 5th - 6th century BCE. Originally used for religious purposes and reaching higher levels of consciousness, meditation has been found to help in other ways such as clearing the mind. In more recent years, meditation is often used for its natural health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, and eliminating depression and anxiety. If you are one of those people who thinks that they’re too busy and don't have time for meditating, you are most likely someone who needs it the most!
Everyone can find at least 10-20 minutes to break away from their busy schedule to help clear their mind of the day-to-day clutter that our brain collects throughout the week. So how does one meditate? It’s quite simple really. First, find a nice and quiet area where there will be no distractions. A nice and open backyard works best, especially if the yard is aesthetically pleasing and peaceful. Secondly, you will want to assume a comfortable posture in the grass or on your outdoor lounge chair. Don’t worry, you do not have to sit cross-legged chanting “Om”, simply sitting or lying down will do. The key is to eliminate outside distractions and close your eyes, taking slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to focus on inhaling and exhaling. Take in the natural elements around you, like the warmth of the sun and the nice cool breeze. Continue until you feel comfortable and relaxed. Find that place or thought that makes you feel content. This can be done by imaging somewhere that you would like to be, whether it’s a nice sandy beach or a tranquil forest. Think about what the characteristics of this place that makes you feel so peaceful maybe it’s the calming wind whistling through the trees or birds chirping in the sky.
It may be difficult to maintain a cleared mind for an allotted time without deviating, but don’t be discouraged, it will become easier with practice. Simply acknowledge the thoughts as they come in and expel it from the mind when exhaling. By following these easy steps you will be on your way to leaving behind the stress and anxiety and moving forward in your day with positive thoughts and aspirations.