Healing yourself emotionally and mentally with meditation
In most developed cultures no-one tells us that we are responsible for our own thoughts and feelings. We miss learning the lesson of inner self-responsibility which reminds us that we create our own stress by the way we perceive and respond to others and the world. No-one teaches us how to think, we are just taught what to think in terms of information but not how to shape our thoughts and feelings. Just like when we have excess body weight we say we are out of shape, similarly when the mind is creating too many negative and waste thoughts it is a sign that our consciousness is out of shape. Meditation allows us to return our consciousness to its true, natural and original shape.
Meditation comes from the Latin word ‘mederi’ which means to heal. It is a healing process – mental and emotional. It also means the correct use of the mind by creating the highest quality of thoughts. Meditation ensures that our mind creates only relaxed, calm, peaceful, positive thoughts and eliminates negative and disturbing thoughts. Before we get into the different steps of meditation let us look at the different kind of thoughts our mind creates.
According to psychologists we create around 60,000 thoughts every day and these are divided into the following:
Necessary thoughts: Thoughts which are required to take care of our daily routine in life. These could be thoughts of preparing food, going to the groceries, going to work etc. These thoughts are necessary and help us carry on our tasks we are responsible towards
Wasteful thoughts: Thoughts which are not constructive or productive in nature and lead to no solutions, these thoughts lead to wastage of time and mental energy. Thoughts of the past, worries about the future, thoughts about others that spill out as gossip. The habit of wasteful thinking will make us feel tired, worn-out and purposeful thinking will disappear.
Negative thoughts: Thoughts which include feelings of anger, hate, fear, doubt, sadness. Negative thinking drains our energy and makes us lazy.
Positive thoughts: Thoughts which are affirmative and focused, carrying only the best intentions for ourselves and others.
Just like when we go to buy products we always look for good quality ones and are ready to spend a high price for them similarly spending time meditating helps us create those good quality positive thoughts that bring lasting peace and calmness.
The first step in learning to meditate is to relax body and mind. Our speed of thoughts is directly proportional to our breathing which is why a good way to slow down the speed of thoughts is by taking slow deep breaths. Relaxations involve sitting comfortably and focusing on our breathing. The next step is to affirm which is to create a positive thought, it could be anything like ‘I am a peaceful soul’, ‘I am love’. The third step is to contemplate and think deeply about the thought created during the affirmation step, an element of visualization helps in this case, where we can visualize ourselves being at peace in a peaceful garden or being loved by our dear ones. Affirming is like planting a seed of thought and contemplating on the thought is like adding your water of awareness over it which makes it grow. The fourth step is to concentrate deeply on the created thought and not allow any other thoughts to distract you. When we focus on a thought for a long period of time it grows from a thought to a feeling. When our thoughts and feelings become peaceful then our words and actions will also have peaceful vibrations behind them. Feelings lead to an experience which is the fifth step and the last stage of meditation is to maintain this feeling even while in action and interaction with others.
Practice, persistence, patience will make this journey within ourselves fulfilling and enriching
I do not think I have been a natural meditator. It was hard for me to sit still and focus on my thoughts. If I wasn’t talking my mind was definitely doing all the thinking and I could see myself getting drained of energy easily and I became quite negative in some areas. I found meditation very hard at first but slowly and steadily it helped me control my way of thinking and changed my quality of life. Just by creating the right quality thoughts I feel so much at peace with myself than ever before. The key is to practice meditation daily. If we give meditation as much attention as we give to our exercise regime you will see how it helps to shape your thoughts and feelings so beautifully.