So maybe you have been meditating now and again, reading the odd inspirational book, watching an uplifting YouTube video here and there or perhaps you have just returned from an amazing yoga retreat - Lucky thing! You’re all Zen-ed up and ready for the world! But then you get an email at work that makes your blood boil, or your partner leaves the toilet seat up again and all that 'Zen' just flies right out the window. Why do they always have to spoil things! When you calm down, we feel annoyed at yourself for not being able to maintain your newly found calm state and question how anyone can remain balanced, even 60% of the time, without being a Saint who has long since departed this dearly beloved earth!
We so want to be unaffected by anything negative going on around us but find that reality has other ideas. Do we really have no control over our emotions and how we react to what we see in front of us?
THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE
This has been a burning question of mine for years. What I eventually came to realise was that noticing when my emotions were off, was actually the first step towards being able to change them. I initially started to make a conscious effort to switch my thoughts to the positive opposite as soon as I noticed them, before my emotions went into free-fall. but this takes a lot of practice.
There are other ways to snap things back into place however. In fact, as I was writing this post an email from 'Spirit Junkie' Author, Gabriel Bernstein popped into my inbox on the very same subject! (Synchronicity is a wonderful thing). She gives us 3 tips to quickly change your mood. I've inserted her video at the bottom of this post.
Another instant mood changer I've used successfully is to ask myself 'Will this matter in five years time?' The answer is usually 'No' which just lets me know I need to take a 'chill pill'. Now, trying to instantly change your mood can be almost impossible if you're right in the thick of an emotion like anger, so for me the long term answer to staying balanced is to do the work before things hit the fan.
I was already doing a loose, slightly distracted style of meditation for 10 minutes a day but it was when I began my daily, half hour, morning Reiki mediation practice that things really changed for me. I found that my day would not only get off to a better start but, over time, I was becoming naturally calmer and did not react so negatively when annoying situations or people showed up. They just simply weren't that annoying anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still have my moments but now it's less frequent and I'm happy more of the time.
HOW TO MEDITATE?
Starting your daily meditation practice is easy and the benefits of meditation have been well documented. Meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, helps you focus, increases vitality and improves your sleep. I'll delve a little deeper into the topic of mediation in a later post but for now I'll keep things simple.
You only need 15 minutes of free, undisturbed time but you can start with just 5 minutes and build up from there.
You can do it sitting or lying down and simply listen to your breath, or you can listen to soothing music, follow a guided mediation video (there are plenty on YouTube - Jason Stephenson is one of my favs), you can chant something repeatedly like 'OM' or 'Love' or 'Peace', you can offer a prayer or you can visualise being somewhere beautiful and imagine the sounds around you. If a particular style doesn't resonate with you, try another until you find one you like. Anything that naturally gets you into a higher state is good.
Don't give up! The benefits are worth it.