Soothe the Stress: How to Meditate to Anything

Soothe the Stress:  A compendium of tips that work.  Try one, try ‘em all  

If you’ve been practicing my Soothe the Stress posts, you’re familiar with the basics. You’ve probably found you prefer some approaches to others.  Well, now it’s time for a how-to guide for you to create your own meditation.
First, you need to select a focal point. This is the place you gently bring yourself back to when your attention wanders (it will, and that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong). It could be a sound (a bell, chimes, music), a visual image (a candle flame, a picture, a flower), a mental image (the ocean, rolling hills, green), a rhythmic progression (counting breaths, left-right-left-right, a repetitive phrase). Almost anything works. Try out different focal points; you’ll learn what works best for you – and when.
You’ll recognize the first steps from other Soothe the Stress posts.
Make sure you’ve got 3 minutes in a quiet place, with no interruptions. Sit in a straight-back chair, arms and legs uncrossed. 

  • Inhale through your nose to a slow count of 5.
  • Exhale to a slow count of 5.
  • As you inhale to the slow count of 5, allow yourself to focus your awareness on your focal point.
  • As you exhale to the slow count of 5, let go of any tension you feel in your body, moving from the top of your head down to the soles of your feet.
  • Whenever you find your mind drifting, gently but firmly bring it back to your focal point. No blame, nothing to worry about. Just back to the focal point.
  • Repeat. Breathe in the focal point, breathe out any tension.
  • Again. And again, and again, ending with an inhalation, breathing in the essence of your focal point.
    As you slowly open your eyes, allow yourself to bring the feeling of relaxation back with you, as you slowly and gently reenter your everyday life.

    Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

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