How To Properly Meditate When You Are Stressed
From the time that meditation and its benefits became accessible to everyone,there has been a great interest in knowing how to practice meditation on one’s own. However, even with the existence of numerous sites and all the publications that discuss meditation techniques for beginners, there is still a huge information gap about how to properly meditate when you are under stress. After all, when you’re stressed, it’s hard to be mindful. The good news is, there’s an answer to such a problematic situation, and that’s walking meditation.
In this post, I’ll explain why walking meditation is a meditation technique I strongly recommend to both my friends and my clients.
Why Some People Find it Hard to Meditate
I’ve met many people who have told me they would like to meditate, but they didn’t know how. They ask me for meditation techniques for beginners, like them.
It would be easy to give instructions, but for meditation to be successful, I believe what’s more important than the instructions themselves, is making sure there are no major obstacles in the way of meditating.
These obstacles can include any or all of the following, which can stress you out when you try to meditate:
- Lack of time
- Lack of resources
- Lack of motivation, usually because of non-practical guidelines
The stress that comes from having to cope with the lack of time, lack of resources, or lack of motivation, places a huge block in front of you, which is not at all supportive of meditating.
These obstacles exist because beginners are usually given the following, unnecessary steps to follow, to be able to start meditating:
Ensuring that the immediate environment is calm or peaceful – for many, this is not possible to do whenever desired. If you have roommates, for example, or if other members of your family do not understand your need for a calm or peaceful environment, then you won’t be able to meditate. An alternative would be to go to places that provide you meditation rooms or spaces. But those are seldom free to use, and would pose another difficulty.
Removing distractions in your immediate environment – These distractions can include bright lights, television, radio, cell phones, and computers; not everyone can control their immediate environment with ease. Again, this is because unless you live alone, the needs of others will always have to be considered in the matter of distractions.
Wearing comfortable clothing – The usual guideline is clothes worn should not be tight, or should not pose any restrictions to movement. This guideline assumes that all people who want to meditate have relatively loose clothes. But what if they don’t? What if buying clothes suitable for meditation (based on the typical guideline described) is not a priority, because other expenses are more pressing?
Assuming a comfortable but balanced position – Often, this is achieved by sitting up straight, with your whole body relaxed. The issue with this guideline is that sitting up straight is not the only position that will make you relax. Whatever relaxes you is an individual choice, based on how a position makes you feel.
Keeping the eyes closed – There are people who are not comfortable with keeping their eyes closed, unless they are already sleeping.
A review of numerous sites show nearly the same guidelines, although differently worded.
Essentially, there’s nothing wrong with the sample guidelines stated above. It’s just that most of them may not be practical, and can therefore create a lack of motivation to meditate.
For one thing, if you always have to make special arrangements regarding your time and resources, just so you can meditate, it may eventually seem unappealing to you.
For another, the stress that comes from having to cope with the lack of time, lack of resources, or lack of motivation, already places a huge block in front of you, which is not at all supportive of meditating.
If you experience any of the difficulties mentioned, and your interest is mostly in learning meditation techniques for beginners, then walking meditation would be great for you. It’s an ideal alternative to sitting meditation, especially when you are in a state of stress.
Why Walking Meditation is Ideal
I’ve personally found walking meditation to be effective whenever I feel stressed, and find myself unable to focus because of stress.
This is because walking is a liberating physical experience that allows you to increase your mindfulness, with little changes in your routine.
Walking is an aerobic activity, which means that it is great for transporting oxygen in and out of your body. In other words, walking is great for breathing, and breathing is great for walking.
And with breathing being essential to meditation, then it’s a no-brainer for walking and meditation to go together.
Walking Meditation is Great for Beginners and Non-Beginners
If you are the kind of person who takes regular walks, then you will have noticed how, when you are walking, your mind will often lose its focus on the distractions all around you.
That’s because the very act of walking is typically relaxing. Of course, if you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, you wouldn’t be able to relax. But that’s the exception, rather than the rule.
This is how the site WebMD describes efficient walking: “Walking is a popular aerobic activity. It is easy to do, you don't need special equipment, and it can be done almost anywhere. To get aerobic benefit, you must walk briskly – fast enough to make your pulse and breathing increase, but not so fast that you can't talk comfortably.”
It’s clear then, that because of its simplicity, both beginners and non-beginners alike can do walking.
As for the meditation aspect, walking meditation makes the very experience of walking the focus of mindfulness. Even when you keep your eyes open because you also need to be aware of physical objects that may get in your way, you’ll find the chatter within your mind – which is the seat of your stressful thoughts – soon fades out of your body and mind while walking.
The Walking Meditation Experience
The main difference between being seated when meditating, and walking meditation, is with walking meditation, you become gradually aware of your body’s movements, and your focus will be directed towards the act of moving while breathing.
As you walk, your mind will “zone out” and release the confusing and stressful thoughts it holds. The intensity of this experience is even heightened when you walk with nature around you.
This doesn’t mean, however, you need to walk in a park or a forest to be able to benefit from walking meditation.
Because even if you are walking on city sidewalks, your breathing, walking, and emptying of your mind of internal chatter, will enable quicker and easier relaxation. You’ll be able to fully feel the intense sensation of “being in the now,” and of keeping you awareness on your walking.
Walking meditation is one of the best meditation techniques for beginners, and it is perfect for those who are already used to walking. If you’re not yet familiar with walking meditation, try it out for yourself. You’ll feel energized after!
And speaking of being energized, to know details about how you can access the energies of the Spirit World to help you make better decisions, and improve your life - get in touch with me for a psychic reading by filling out this form. I’ll put you in touch with wisdom from the Spirit World for the answers you need.
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