Many of my patients are dealing with a lot of stress, and they often ask me what they can do to reduce their stress and not feel so overwhelmed. I love recommending one of my favorite self-care practices – meditation. Before you tune out thinking it’s not for you, consider this: You don’t need fancy equipment. You don’t have to be religious. No matter your background, you can enjoy the practice and reap the benefits. It’s a great way to “quiet” your mind and focus on what is truly important in your life. I like to think of it as a workout for your soul.
What is Heartfulness Meditation?One of my favorite meditation practices is called heartfulness meditation, and it’s a life-changer. It’s a relaxation technique that will bring you calm, focus and the ability to live in the moment. There are so many health benefits, and you can use it to achieve purpose in your life. It’s a simple approach to connect with your heart … and all matters of the heart. It’s such a beautiful way to connect with what matters. It’ll reduce your anxiety, lower your blood pressure and help cultivate strength and serenity. If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your stress down and feel more in control, you’ll love it.
What makes it unique?Where mindfulness raises your awareness of the present moment, heartfulness brings your focus inward to your heart. Balance, guidance, love, purpose and serenity come to light. This practice transcends cultural and religious barriers and brings together people from all around the world.
5 tips to start you on your journey.
- Make time for your heart. Even 15 minutes each day is enough to make a difference. Meditating at the same time every day helps get you into a routine, but any time is a good time.
- Get comfortable. Find a spot where you can sit comfortably. Your body should be supported and relaxed.
- Turn your focus inward. Clear your mind of any “noise” and tune into your heart. Breathe slowly and deeply.
- Let go. Release your worries, stresses and thoughts of daily life. You don’t want to feel pulled in a dozen different directions. With each breath in, take in calm, peace and lightness. With each breath out, let go of worldly things that distract your focus. Begin to notice the energy and vibration expanding within you. Continue to tune into your heart and let whatever naturally comes from within you rise to the surface. If your mind wanders, simply return to your heart.
- Take time to reflect. When you’ve completed your meditation, think about your experience. How do you feel? What thoughts came to the surface? What did you learn about yourself? You’ll likely come back to the experience again and again throughout your day.
- Identify your stress triggers. Then, implement strategies for dealing with them like scheduling breaks throughout your day, going for a walk or making time to reflect.
- Make stress-reduction part of your daily routine. Take time every day for some heartfulness meditation, yoga, tai chi or deep-breathing exercises.
- Laugh. A good belly laugh lightens your mental load, lowers stress-causing cortisol and increases mood-boosting endorphins.
- Lean on your tribe. Talk to your loved ones and vent when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This act of sharing can help reduce your stress and anxiety and give others the opportunity to support you.