We are more stressed than ever before, which leads us to search for ways to calm down, distress, sleep better, or find something new to do. The benefits appear to be endless. Alleviating stress will improve health both physically and psychologically. Below are five paths to take that will guide you in your journey to serenity.
1. Saying “When”
Realizing when you should distress is difficult because many people won’t often notice how they feel until they suddenly feel much worse than normal. This leads to irritability, fatigue, stiff or sore muscles and more. If you find that you are getting to be critical of yourself, it may be a good time to take a few minutes out of the day to focus on your mind. The same goes for when you feel as though you are getting ahead of yourself in any aspect of life, or just want to “check in” with yourself.
This technique is convenient for most because it does not require being in a private space. Instead, the noise itself is the setting for the meditation. Allow whatever you’re thinking or feeling to flow throughout your body, without trying to force yourself to think of a specific thing.
SUNY Plattsburgh student Larissa Murray says that when she feels herself resisting a thought or feeling, she recalculates to a place of “truthfulness and nonviolence. Basically meaning: honest with whatever is going on inside of me, and holding it, accepting it.”
Meditation is like medicine for the spirit, and fighting against natural feelings or thoughts won’t often help. Realize it’s existence, acknowledge it and receive it.
The release of endorphins during and after exercise may also greatly contribute to coming to peace with yourself. Exercise is known to boost confidence and make a person feel happier. Going on a short run may even be a form of meditation, having time to think and contemplate throughout the run, whether on a treadmill, through the woods, or on the sidewalk. It’s also a very accessible form of exercise because all you need are a decent pair of sneakers. If possible, try going on a run while listening to music, then try another occasion without music to see which helps more in your path to finding inner peace. Does the music help guide your moods and thoughts? Or does the solitude in the mind create something calming, where thoughts shift and develop on their own? See what works best for you.
Although yoga is a type of exercise, it varies a bit in contrast to heavy cardio such as running or jogging. Yoga is also a great gateway to begin meditating. SUNY Plattsburgh student Chandler Hyatt shared her thoughts on yoga.
“It’s hard to quiet my mind,” Hyatt said. “But after a 30-45 minute yoga class I find myself able to do so much better.”
Having an inspirational and motivational push can help tremendously when trying to get into the calm type of headspace. Finding a “warm-up” that prepares your mind for meditation is a great place to start. It can be something as simple as washing dishes right before meditating or cleaning around your room or home. Try different calming routines that will help bring you to the right place in the mind to prepare for your own personal meditations.
5.Creating a Scene
An interesting scenario is brought up by Murray who describes a scene to practice meditations. Her scene is:
“Walking on a beach, then (suddenly) I’m attached to an anchor by a rope, Murray said. “Then, there’s a knife in the sand. I reach for it, and cut myself free.”
Creating scenarios and scenes such as this will give you a go-to place in your mind when deciding to meditate. Be creative, try out something crazy, or calming, or both. Nothing is out of bounds. The world is your oyster…in your mind.
These unique suggestions are a great way to begin your path towards finding inner peace. It is best to take advantage of these techniques during those inevitable times in our lives that may involve exams, big projects, a hectic schedule, or other situations that create a little bit of chaos. However, integrating them into your daily, weekly, or monthly life may help maintain a feeling of tranquility and positive energy, which everyone deserves.