How to start meditating
In my previous post, I explained to you how to get over your fear of failure. In todays post, I'll focus on meditation. I'll explain to you more briefly how I learned it and how it's been helpfull to me.
To me, meditation means breathing properly and calming yourself down by doing so.
The breathing is abdominal breathing. You need to use your belly for this, in order not to hyperventilate. This is something that can happen when you start panicking and you stop breathing. This can make you feel overwhelmed and even ill. For me, it meant that I was able to throw up...
I used to not feel these panic attacks coming. They were terrifying and I used to think that something was terribly wrong with me. Now I learned to recognise them and calm myself down before the get worse. I learned to recognise them by recognising all the physical and mental aspects of a breakdown. These aspects can vary from person to person... to me it was: feeling ready to throw up, sweating like a pig, not beign able to see very well and paranoia. The mental aspect of it was that I thought that I was dying and that I couldn't stop feeling this way. It was suepr overwhelming. Now that I feel them coming, I can use meditation to calm myself down. I also don't have them so often anymore. It used to be multiple times a day (with stress situations).. now it's maximum once a month or so...
Here's an exercise on how to learn to breathe and calm yourself down, by only just breathing. It's a form of meditation.
Lie down on a soft surface. Keep your legs spread slightly and leg your head on a pillow. Keep one hand relaxed next to you, the other hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in and out. When you breathe in, you make your belly thicker, you blow it up. When you exhale, you push your belly to the floor, you make yourself skinny. Be careful not to breathe with your chest. Do this breathing exercise first in a quiet environment, so that you can concentrate well. Also try this later in situations that might seem like moments of failure, to learn how to make the transfer to an actual stress situation.
Do this exercise daily, in order to really learn to breathe properly. After a while, you'll feel less overwhelmed and you'll learn not to hyperventilate. After a month or so, you'll be able to use this exercise in a more stress-relatied situation. Try to do this in a situation that's similar to an actual stress situation so that you can prepare yourself to do this in other situations as well.
After a couple of months, you'll be able to use this easy technique in a real stressfull situation as well.
By doing this exercise, I also tell myself not to focus on anything else. If my mind starts spiraling, I tell myself to stop thinking about anything. To only focus on the breathing...
Why I meditate?
Concentration increases the quality of your performance. Meditation can help with this. You learn to use your thoughts in a more focused way. You focus on helping thoughts and you block non-helping thoughts. In my previous post, you've learned what these were exactly...
I meditate to also focus my mind on positivity and not let myself drown in negative thoughts and stress. Stress is something we'll always have to deal with, so we might have to learn to deal with it, right?
Learning to meditate is difficult. It takes a couple of weeks to learn to breathe well and to not think about anything else while doing so. The step of "meditating" might seem too big for you. What can help is not to use the word "meditation" but just to think about learning to focus on your breathing. You focus on breathing and think of nothing but correct breathing. In the beginning it will also seem that you get fear of failure yourself with this breathing-exercice. At least, that was my case...
My thoughts were like: "Am I doing it right?". This is also a non-helping thought that you want to think about. Why? Because the whole idea of meditating is to think of NOTHING. Nothing else but breathing.
There are multiple ways on how to learn to meditate. I learned in my bed, with only myself. There are also apps to use on your phone or meditation sessions on youtube. If you find it too hard to learn it by yourself, you can try these apps...
Sometimes, a therapist can also help. There are therapists who are specialised in this, to help you out.
So, which options will you try out?