Working in the space of work health and safety has given me experience in a wide range of related topics within the field
Meditating annoys me. But I keep doing it just the same
I have never been a lover of mediation or any of that mindfulness stuff, the irony is that even thinking about it on some levels gives me anxiety, it just makes me tense. But guess what, that hasn't stopped me from taking the time to actually work through that and find techniques that suit me and that improve my life in some way, even if it is in small increments.
When I actually take some time to do it on a regular basis, it helps to snap things into focus, and put things in my life into their proper context and levels of importance and priority. Thing end up not feeling like they are bearing down on me and I feel like I am in control of at least some parts of my life. This ability to reduce my levels of perceived stress has allowed me to reduce the negative effects of stress which are not just limited to mental concerns but for me that even affect my physical health.
When I am under a level of stress that might appear to be for a extended amount duration and intensity and I do nothing to stop it I always remind myself of this saying, 'all debts must be repaid'. If I want to run red hot for too long and burn myself out that debt is going to need to be repaid and it is will usually come with a pretty high interest rate.
As I have mentioned i don't really find any joy in the actual act of meditation or relaxation techniques. I used to find it unsettled me, especially during the actual act itself, the irony isn't lost on me given my openness to other healthy aspects like self-improvement and watching my impact on the world and its impact on me.
I have begrudgingly accepted the fact that if I do practice habitually the act of mindfulness and meditate, that things do become more streamlined in my life and my stress levels stop going into the red and my general well being does improve. I find that things that I have found a bit of a struggle to get my head around a easier to think about and I can perceive things in greater complexity as well as calculate alternative routes should their be roadblocks, which is a great thing to have access to when I am at work. Some how I find more strength and I become a force.
So basically all I am saying is that meditation does me good, and it can have that same or similar effect on you if you wish to give it a chance or maybe give it another chance if you have tried it before. so below you will read what I have been able to finally wrap my head around and the things that I try and do consistently to not just improve my mind but my life in general.
Actually you don’t just have to take it sitting down
Meditation is pretty much considered a snooze fest for those of us that aren't fully absorbed into the lifestyle and if you do it all funky and with that in your head you will likely make yourself a self fulfilling prophecy.
Meditation is full of many different variations and forms, which means it is quite possible to find a type or version that fits your circumstances.
Tai chi, which is actually my favourite. The stances and complexity of the motions keep my brain so focused on the task at hand that I don't end up noticing that I have just been tricked into a singular focus. It basically puts me right in the zone.
Meditation in the form of walking is another favourite of mine, it can being calm and focus as you focus on your steps and the movement and length of footsteps.
I now try to be mindful as much as possible, one way I have found to be able to do this during work without being a real space cadet is by the putting on some tunes. music without words is usually the best and because your brain can be tricked into focusing on the words and splitting your focus. I do find though with my favourite playlist I am able to create a meditative state, because all of the songs have been favourites so long that the words are basically ingrained onto my soul.
You as an individual can find a state of focus and reach a meditative state by just doing simple day to day tasks around the home. Some find that cooking a meal or washing the dishes by hand works just as well for them. The vacuuming might be a bit loud for this one but hey whatever floats your boat. Just be present in that moment and focus on the task at hand. Feel the sensations and feedback your body gives you from the stimuli of the task and the environment around you.
Those are so many more variations on these techniques and many other forms to boot, so I won't go into them all, but do your research if the above don't quite fit your circumstances or mindset. With the right mindset you will find a variation that works for you
The empire might fight back, but use the force to fight back
Mediation is meant to be focusing and is supposed to be a calming of the things going on inside your head. A time when your focus becomes singular and all of the noise in your mind can be filtered out. Physical activity and exercise in general can have this same effect as the focus on the exercise and precision of the movement makes your mind block out the mess of other noises that can be going through your mind.
I have always found, especially when I first started that my thoughts will be chaotic and will come flying out at me, in an effort to fight the process. These thoughts will often jump up like a needy puppy begging for your attention.
The idea is not try to block out these thoughts, but to let them not gain a foothold and distract you. I like to think of them as strands of cotton floating on a river, instead of letting them get snagged on you just let the current whisk them around you and float away.
This will be the hardest part when you first start, as you will find that you think you are right in the zone and then bam suddenly your trying to remember the recipe for your grandmother's famous chutney or a stupid thing you once said to someone in high school.
Luckily, there will come a point when this will just settle down and you will find that you are able to filter out the distracting thoughts and gain focus with more ease.
You don't have to get lost in your mind palace for ever
You don't have to go all zen for hours on end, even less that an hour is fine.
There is no expectation that you are to migrate to a cave up in the mountains and be forget. I usually always stick to around 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on which form mediation I use.
Really it is up to you to find what you can deal with and what gives you the most benefit in the long run.
JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on April 28, 2020:
Very interesting hub.
Liz Westwood from UK on February 16, 2020:
You give an interesting and personal perspective on meditation.