Do you ever have those days where you’re so stressed that your insides feel like they’re bubbling up and are about to explode? I have. I call them “waves of evil.” I usually get them right before my period, or when I’m really tired. And it seems as if nothing can stop them. And I feel sorry for anyone who happens to cross my path when I’m in this state. Until recently. I discovered mudra and meditation.
I began seriously chanting and meditating about six months ago. I used to think it was a “woo woo” waste of time. But when I started, my “waves of evil” occurred much less frequently, and my stress level went down significantly. I meditate and chant regularly, and try to do it every morning, before I drink my first cup of coffee, or check my e-mail or Facebook. Before coffee and Facebook? Now that’s commitment!
I am finding that I’m much more creative, calmer, experience less headaches, and generally a more joyful person. My skin is clearer, the frown lines are not there as much (okay, Botox helps as well) and I don’t have PMS as much as I used to (Oh, and my sex drive has improved!).
For any of you that share these same “waves of evil” symptoms, and want to experience an improvement in your psyche, here are a few things you can do that don’t take that much time, but work wonders.
Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress. According to Web MD, here are a few key things you can do in less than 15 minutes that will get you from OMG! to OM in 15 minutes.
Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting (out loud or silently a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I am love.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the mantra with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds.
Focus on your breathing. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering the blood pressure.
Be present. Notice how the air feels on your face, how you are breathing, and what your mantra means to you. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.
Be aware of places you might feel tight. For one to two minutes, imagine each deep breath flowing to that body part. Repeat this process as you move your focus throughout your body, paying close attention to the sensations you feel in each body part.
Place a warm wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles, and feel the tension melt away. Wow. Feeling more creative, younger, calmer, and joyful? My hubby and I just might get lucky tonight!
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Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email [email protected]