Meditation practices to develop your inner calm
Quietening the mind can be a real challenge for many people. Why is it so difficult for us to turn our complete attention away from the outside world to the inside of our body, calming the constant flow of thoughts, the runaway mind, even for a few minutes?
We’re not really here and in the present moment when the runaway mind is constantly processing information in the same way over and over. We begin to run on autopilot that leaves no room for creative or spontaneous thinking. It’s estimated that we think around 50,000 thoughts a day and of those thoughts around 90% to 95% are repetitive and very often negative or fearful.
Every thought you think creates a corresponding chemistry within the body. In other words: the body responds to our thoughts with a chemical reaction that influences our body chemistry – either putting you in survival mode or elevating you to a life in the flow.
We meditate to train the mind to be thought-less; to allow a space for connection, especially to our heart, on a deeper level within ourselves. To get out of your head and back into the present moment will initially require regular practice. Following the three steps below will make it easier to kickstart your meditation practice.
1. Slow the breath
Sit quietly and comfortably. Close your eyes – this sends a strong signal to the body that you’re shifting your awareness from the outer world to the inner world. Become aware of your breath. Calm and slow your breath to a gentle, rhythmic, slow pattern of breathing. Long exhale, pause, shorter inhale. If thoughts arise, just gently bring your attention back to the breath.
2. Relax your body muscles
Purposefully relax all muscles in the body and remain in non-judgement while continuing to focus on the breath. When thoughts arise, and they will, gently refocus back on the breath. Slowing the breath and relaxing the muscles signals the body to feel safe and calm.
3. Discover your meditation style
- a visual learner – you need to see a picture to learn
- a kinesthetic learner – you learn by doing
- an auditory learner – you find it easier to learn if someone explains first
Visual learners may find it easier to focus on a candle flame while calming the breath. Stay fully present while focusing on the candle flame. Beginning with, say, five minutes and increase the time as you train your mind to remain present and focused on the flame.
Kinesthetic learners will find it easiest to really concentrate on the inhaled and exhaled breath. Follow the breath as it travels through your body, gently becoming aware of the feelings in the body as the breath moves in and out.
Auditory learners may find it easier to focus on silently repeating, over and over, a sound or mantra. Mantras can be a simple word or phrase such as Om or Om Namah Shivaya or simply I am. Check that your breathing remains calm and slow as you recite the mantra on the exhale.
Whatever your style of meditation, aim to start with 5 minutes, increasing the time span as you feel more competent and confident. Try remaining in a mindful, relaxed body state for as long as possible after meditation.
Heart brain coherence meditation
This is a powerful meditation that can be practiced by anyone several times a time to bring a heightened awareness and harmonisation of the heart and brain.
Sit comfortably, eyes closed, body relaxed. Bring your attention to your heart and and place your hand to touch your heart centre. This focuses your awareness on the heart. Breathe in and out from your heart, keeping the breath rhythmically slow, gentle and calm. This signals the body is safe and calm and relaxed.
Next bring up an elevated feeling such as …
- appreciation for anyone or anything
- gratitude for anyone or anything
- care for anyone or anything
- compassion for anyone or anything
Really feel, to the best of your ability, the elevated emotion in your body. If your mind wanders, return your awareness to your heart, breathing in and out from the heart and reconnect with the elevated feeling. A cascade of positive effects will be triggered in the body if you practice this meditation at least twice a day for a minimum of 3 minutes each time. Aim on extending towards 45 minutes a day.
Mentoring, coaching and training to holistically integrate meditation into your lifestyle in one-on-one breathwork sessions can supercharge the impact on your overall health and wellbeing for the long term.
Unlocking the power of your energy centres with meditation is what I teach in The Energy Codes® workshops.
I love to get your feedback. Please post a comment below or email me at: email@example.com
Further reading and resources
Dispenza, Joe. Becoming Supernatural. London: Hay House. 2017
Braden, Gregg. How to harmonize heart and brain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1umMCgBIQs
McKeown, Patrick. The Oxygen Advantage: the simple, scientifically proven breathing technique that will revolutionise your health and fitness. Piatkus. 2015
Morter, Sue. The Energy Codes: the 7-step system to awaken your spirit, heal your body, and live your best life. New York, Simon & Shuster. 2020