Crunch time. We all know what that feels like, especially when accompanied by the need to make a decision, however big or small. It’s all stress boiling over the surface, forcing us into quick choices that may not actually be the path we want to take.
A few moments of meditation can truly alleviate this tension and allow us to follow our instinct, and make better decisions.
Mediation isn’t just about relaxation, though it is a crucial aspect to the process. When we’re wound up tightly, we can’t see things clearly; our view of the world – and our options – becomes fuzzy. As our bodies relax, shrugging off the physiological responses to stress, mental clarity emerges. Renewed focus creates a space to make rational decisions. And the simple process of slowing down means you’ll be able to listen to your gut, that intuitive response you should rely on when making decisions.
And that’s not just talk. Studies have shown that people who meditate access different parts of their brains when faced with decisions; they are able to act rationally, rather than react emotionally. That’s likely because meditation can alter the perspective of any situation. Instead of simple black or white choices, the options expand to include alternative paths, which aren’t there when you’re exploding with pressure.
Meditation works as a quick fix when you genuinely need it, but for it to be truly effective, practise regularly. After all, how many decisions do we make every day? They may not be serious, life-changing choices, but wouldn’t it be lovely to know that every decision you make is the best decision?
Now before you think meditation isn’t for you – give it a go.
The common myth is that you have to utterly clear you mind and think of nothing. This just isn’t true – that would be far, far too hard for most people. No, meditation is about clearing out the clutter and concentrating on being really present. Often this is done by concentrating on just your breathing or visualising a clear single image.
To meditate, take a seat (any seat, you don’t need to be twisted up like a pretzel) and close your eyes. Allow every muscle in your body to relax, even if you have to control that relaxation mentally at first. Focus on your breathing allowing yourself to take deep breaths. Allow your mind to quieten.
If you find you can’t get rid of the mental chatter, try to visualise a calm, peaceful place, and just draw your mind back to that calming image if it wanders off to think about work, or what you might have for your tea later. Just breathe and relax and gently shepherd your mind back to the calm image. Remain in this relaxed state for as long as you can, continually clearing your mind of all thoughts.
Start small. Begin with short space of time, say 3 minutes, and then work up to 10-15 minutes. And hey, if you’re already experienced, why not focus on expanding the length of your meditation sessions?
Set some time every day to mediate. If you’ve never done it before, you may want to play around with your schedule. Some people prefer to take time out when they’re in the thick of it all. Others find they mediate best before they get into the day, and others prefer to use it to reflect at the end of it.
This artcle first appeared in: http://www.blog.rethinkretreats.com/meditation-the-fastest-way-to-make-b...