3 Meditations To STOP Monkey Brain And Step Into Your Heart
This weekend, I completed a two-day yoga immersion led by my friend, the amazing Baron Baptiste. The event was completely transformational. I deepened my personal yoga practice, and gained profound insight into “getting out of the monkey brain, and getting into your heart!”
Throughout the day, the itinerary called for a little personal quiet time—time to breathe, to daydream, to listen to nature, and feel the internal batteries recharging. During these times of meditation, I noticed my thoughts begin to quiet as I entered into my heart.
Meditation is far from the stereotype of sitting motionless in lotus position. In reality, meditation is all about living your life to the fullest, moment by mindful moment. Although there are countless techniques and outlets for finding tranquility and boosting energy, meditation is particularly appealing because you can access it throughout the day during stressful situations, no matter where you are.
Meditation need not be part of a religious or philosophical practice. It can simply be a discipline of refocusing the mind. Actually, we do a lot of meditation in our daily life without realizing it. Trouble is, we tend to meditate on the negative, more commonly known as worrying. Like a bad DJ playing the same song over and over, our inner soundtrack of negative ideas can circulate endlessly in our heads, with thoughts like, “I’m not a good enough person” or “I’m not doing anything amazing with my life.”
In the simplest sense, meditation can help banish negative thoughts by clearing your mind entirely. One popular meditation technique is to focus on a positive idea or happy moment. As soon as a negative thought bubbles to the happy, calm surface you created, think of it as a duck that is paddling away from you and return your focus to happier thoughts. It’s not always easy to erase negative thought patterns, but meditation can at least help you become more conscious of them, and that’s the first step.
As if happier thoughts aren’t enough of a benefit, research is showing that meditation can help restructure the brain in ways that lead to more enhanced concentration, boosted immunity, and increased compassion. Even the most basic attempts at meditation have been shown to have immediate positive results.
If you haven’t begun a meditation practice, or are looking to take your practice to the next level, then stay tuned. Today, I’ll guide you through three meditation styles to enhance your life and recharge your batteries.
1. Nature Meditation
One of my favorite ways to change my mental state is to meditate deeply on a part of nature. Take five minutes to look closely at a flower. Study the details of its texture and the structure. When you do this, you develop a sense of reverence. The flower becomes a little miracle. You begin to see how complete and fully alive the natural world is at all levels. Meditating on nature can be calming, fascinating, and inspiring all at once.
2. Gratitude Meditation
I like to do this first thing in the morning, to get my day moving on a positive track. Simply spend a few minutes meditating on all the things in your life that you’re thankful for.
3. Breathing Meditation
Slow, deep breathing is one of the best stress busters there is. Focus your attention on the breath entering your body, your breath flowing out, and the spaces in between. Several minutes of this can lower your pulse, reduce your blood pressure, and relax much of the muscular tension in your body.
This breathing meditation is very popular and it’s one of the easiest and most effective forms for newbies to attempt. Try it during stressful situations throughout your day and you’ll quickly see how it helps you stay present in the moment, but separated from the situation that created stress in the first place.
Remember, as you work through these three meditations negative messages may surface. It’s o.k. (and very common) if they do. They’ll help you develop your meditation muscles as you notice them and turn your focus back to nature, what you’re grateful for, or your breath. Like anything new, practice helps you improve form and get better results.
Here’s to your health and happiness!