Whether you can’t sleep, are too stressed or feeling anything else in between
There really isn’t anything that we gain from meditation—even Buddha himself admitted that. But asking what you get from the practice is wrong, because you should be asking what you could lose instead. Meditation allows us to let go of anger, anxiety, insecurities, fears and even depression in some cases. And removing these negative aspects of our life give us more room to breathe.
For when you can’t sleep
We all have those days when we can’t sleep because our minds our running even when our bodies are absolutely drained. The trick around this is to get yourself to relax by focusing on something other than whatever your brain cannot leave behind.
The first step is to choose a calming focus. Focus on your breath, sounds (“om”), a short prayer or a positive word (“peace”). If it is a sound or something you can recite, say it repeatedly. If you find yourself straying from the repetition, just start again. Immerse yourself in the practice and just let go.
For when you’re too stressed out
Various studies have shown that meditation is a great way to keep stress at bay. All you need to do is take a few minutes out of your day to feel refreshed and ready to go again.
One widely used technique requires you to find a comfortable sitting position. Plant your feet on the ground and put your hands on your lap. Close your eyes and just follow your breath for a while and allow your mind to wander. Let it think what it wants to think about. Don’t judge or change your thoughts. At the end of the process, you’ll know what you need to do first and what thoughts you can set aside for now.
For when you’re feeling anxious
When anxiety starts to strike, experts say there is a 90-second window to intervene before a panic attack occurs. So if you’re one of those people that get panics often, be mindful and act quickly.
An effective practice is to imagine a clear button at the center of your palm. Press this button with your index finger of the opposite hand. As you press down imagine that your stress response system is cooling down. Take a deep breath with each count to three and picture the numbers of your stress system as colors. On your final exhale, open your eyes and come back to the present moment. You can repeat this twice or thrice if the first go doesn’t work.
A daily practice
It’s best to meditate everyday as opposed to when the need just arises. You’ll soon find that you’re better at keeping your cool and you won’t let all the little things get to you as often. So just breathe, close your eyes and focus.