My own Meditation Journey

My own Meditation Journey

My own Meditation Journey

I was first introduced to meditation when I began studying Buddhism. Before then I think I believed, and this is a common misconception, that meditation was a rather mystical practice that took over your body and mind somehow, that it was something to be feared almost and it was only really practiced by monks and mystics. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Meditation is merely the gateway to the soul, the vehicle to carry you deeper into your self and a practice that opens up a part of you that has always existed, but that you never realised was there; your true self and that which gives you the true meaning of your existence and interconnectedness to the universe and everyone and everything else in it.

Without meditation I would not be the happy and fulfilled person I am today. It has enabled me to discover more about myself, to realise my true potential on many levels but, most importantly, uncovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that which people seek and often feel they never find. It is the complete and perfect oneness; the knowledge that we are all one, part of the whole that is the universe and beyond, that which is nothing but that which is everything. Try to understand it and it is gone. The beauty of this realisation brings many things; inner peace, inner calm and tranquillity, profound clarity and a deep sense of belonging, of purpose and of true joy. That is the essence of life, the true meaning of life.

I think the reason so many people never find this or discover this is because they are looking for something external. They seek happiness and fulfilment through materialism, relationships, jobs, holidays, money and so on. They miss what is already there, already perfect just as it is, right in front of them, and only by letting go and completely surrendering to it do you become it. This is what the Buddha meant when he said by the absence of grasping one is set free.

I have not reached my full potential because that would mean there is a boundary to my potential. My potential is infinite and so I enjoy the flow of life and trust completely in the direction that takes. Sure, I make intentions and create what I would like to bring into my life but I also trust that everything that comes into it is somehow part of my journey, my life lessons, and so I am always learning from it. I am a student and I am a teacher. I am many things but foremost I am just me and I am also you, the universe and everything in it. My purpose is to help others achieve their own self realisation and start their own journey. The journey begins beyond the doorway that leads to your soul; your true self and meditation is the key to unlocking that door.

My daily meditation practice, which is usually for an hour each morning, is like recharging my whole system. It’s like returning home to the place where I came from. It’s allowing me to completely let go of the dualistic reality we live in and enter a world that you cannot see or touch but that through your heart you know is always there whenever you should wish to be there. It energises, cleanses and revitalises your mind and body from the inside out. It is like diving within yourself and becoming one that is simply non existence, nothingness, but yet that which is everything and everywhere. This is the real meaning of finding heaven on earth.

The immersion of self in the silence gives great power and energy, recharging the whole system on all levels; spiritual, emotional and physical. Let it be, without trying to understand it or analyse it or name it. It is simply as it is, and cannot be found, cannot be named and cannot be understood. It is everything and when you are in silence, immersed within yourself, you are there, you are everything and it is you.

My Recommendation

A life changing experience that I highly recommend to anybody looking for financial success and personal growth!

 I was told to watch Steve’s meditation videos from a friend that has been very successful in foreign exchange trading, so I listened to his advice. Although I was initially skeptical about meditation’s ability to bring me financial success, after watching the video my entire perspective changed.

Reading Steve’s impact has a very strong impact on my life, as I began to use the meditation techniques daily and I immediately started seeing results in my trading! I became more confident, mindful and trusted in my abilities, which translated into making better financial decisions and more profit.

Every morning as soon as I wake up, I listen for the motivation that it provides to focus on what I need to do. Not only has my trading and financial situation become better, but overall as a person I am creating the life that I want to live. Both my health and relationships are better than ever and I owe the success to The 5 Meditations That Will Make You Rich!

Click Here To Get Instant Access

Can I teach myself; do I need a teacher?

 Can I teach myself; do I need a teacher?

Meditation is a journey of self discovery leading to self mastery that you can start right now — today. There isn’t anything you need to learn that you don’t have right at this moment within you. Simply sit and allow yourself to be. It isn’t easy, training the mad monkey mind that races from one thought to the next but, with practice, it becomes a welcomed opportunity to spend time with yourself.

A meditation teacher can help and guide you through the practice of meditation and attending a group meditation session will enable you to share the experience with others, which can help your own practice. However, I would urge you to start practising yourself as I have described in this section. There is nothing a meditation teacher can tell you that you don’t already know, you just have to sit and be with yourself to discover it.

Silence is not something we often experience on a daily basis or even welcome for that matter. Most people find it very difficult to really relax and let go, particularly of their thoughts. The important point to remember is that you are not trying to push your thoughts away, but simply allowing them to be, without attachment to them. This practice over time reduces the number of thoughts, and distractions, you experience during meditation. Many people’s lives are busy and hectic with work commitments, financial pressures, parenthood, socialising, hobbies, interests and a whole list of other activities that take up the majority of our time.

Make a conscious decision to make time to meditate. Commit to embarking on your own journey of self discovery. Unlock your own great creative potential which, with continued practice of meditation, will be unbounded.

My Recommendation

A life changing experience that I highly recommend to anybody looking for financial success and personal growth!

 I was told to watch Steve’s meditation videos from a friend that has been very successful in foreign exchange trading, so I listened to his advice. Although I was initially skeptical about meditation’s ability to bring me financial success, after watching the video my entire perspective changed.

Reading Steve’s impact has a very strong impact on my life, as I began to use the meditation techniques daily and I immediately started seeing results in my trading! I became more confident, mindful and trusted in my abilities, which translated into making better financial decisions and more profit.

Every morning as soon as I wake up, I listen for the motivation that it provides to focus on what I need to do. Not only has my trading and financial situation become better, but overall as a person I am creating the life that I want to live. Both my health and relationships are better than ever and I owe the success to The 5 Meditations That Will Make You Rich!

Click Here To Get Instant Access

How do I meditate?

How do I meditate?

Buddhism often describes meditation as a way of ‘training the mad monkey’, referring to the mind as a mad monkey, which is always jumping and racing from one thought to the next. During an average day we think around 64,000 thoughts!

The Buddha said by the absence of grasping one is set free. Meditation is not something you achieve by trying. Although when you begin to practice you are seeking to meditate effectively, the more you try the more it will elude you. Meditation can be likened to holding a wet bar of soap; one minute you are holding it in your hands and the next it’s slipped through your fingers.

Meditation is about letting go and to discover the secret gap you have to let everything go. Let go of any outcome before you begin.

There are many meditation techniques, and over thousands of years different meditation practices have evolved. The true essence of meditation, however, is just to sit and be. Quite simply you are going beyond the ‘conditioned’ mind and elevating your mind to a state of pure self awareness.

Whilst you can focus on an object or on your breath to help you to reach this state, ultimately it is a natural process which evolves over time, the essence should always be in connecting yourself with your source. You are looking inward without actually attempting to do anything but to just sit and be.

It is also effective to meditate on particular struggles or problems we are experiencing in our lives. For instance, if we want to come to a decision on a particular aspect of our life; a career direction for example, meditating on this can help us to arrive at the answer. At times the answers we are seeking can come into our minds almost immediately. The power of focusing concentration and directing that focus towards a particular question or subject can produce amazing results.

It is a good idea to have a meditation space. This can be a room, or part of your home where you feel most comfortable. You might have soft lighting, candles, incense, cushions, flowers, and other objects which invoke feelings of calm and relaxation.

Aim to meditate twice a day. Sunrise and sunset are the best times of day for meditation because our minds are more receptive at these times. Sunrise is the dawn of a new day and everywhere is quiet, calm and peaceful. The day has not yet begun and following a restful sleep, our minds tend to be calmer. At sunset the day is ending and meditation at this time enables us quiet reflection on the day we have just passed. Our minds are winding down at this time before sleeping, and the stillness and calm that meditation brings will be with us as we drift off to sleep, helping us to feel refreshed and energised when we awaken the following morning.

Place a cushion on the floor and seat yourself so that your bottom is half on and half off the cushion. This will elevate your hips and naturally lift your spine and you will feel more comfortable than if you were just sitting on the floor. Take yourself into a cross legged position. Traditionally the lotus or half lotus pose is used when meditating but if you are not able to comfortably sit in these poses, sit as is right for you. Let your spine be upright and tilt your head so that your eyes, when open, are fixed three feet in front of you. Place your hands wherever they feel comfortable; one on top of the other in your lap, in a mudra with the tip of the thumb touching the tip of the first or middle finger to form a circle, or simply place them on your thighs. Whatever is comfortable and feels right for you.

As previously mentioned there are many things you can focus on during meditation; statues, flowers or a single rose, silk scarves, candles, crystals, music, mantras and the breath to name a few. Experiment yourself with each of these and find what works best for you.

Not surprisingly I have found the simplest methods to be the most effective; the breath and a mantra. The example I have used throughout most of this section is the breath, which is by far the most universal focus of meditation.

Close your eyes and begin to focus your attention on your breath. Focus on each inhale and exhale. Silently saying the words ‘SO’ on the inhale and ‘HUM’ on the exhale also helps focus. Allow your thoughts to come and go but always return your focus to your breath. If you have chosen an object, you would simply focus your attention on that object allowing the thoughts to come and go returning your focus to the object. Over time meditation becomes easier and you will find as your self mastery grows you are easily able to sit for 20-30 minutes.

To begin with just work on achieving 5 minutes twice a day and then increase to 10 and so on. Meditation can be effective at any time. If you are not able to meditate regularly find some quiet time when you can to allow yourself to simply sit and be. Focus on your breath and visualise yourself sitting somewhere which will help bring about a calm and relaxed state of mind. One of my favourites is on a beach in front of a beautiful calm blue sea. Choose something which feels right and true for you. Be patient and gentle with yourself. As your ability to meditate increases, your level of self awareness grows. You will begin to notice improvements with each day’s meditation practice.

Allow yourself to become your own silent observer and simply observe the breath. As you follow each inhale and exhale, thoughts will become slower. Let the thoughts come and let them go, simply observing them and not becoming attached to them. Your focus is the breath, always return to the rhythmic inhale and exhale. Then allow yourself to become the breath. With this merging comes release and without an actual momentary realisation you are immersed in stillness, in the silence and you have discovered the secret gap. This is the place of being, of presence and of your true self. Here you are at one with everything; whether that be God, universe, Tao, divine consciousness or whatever your term for it is, you are it, it is you and it and you are everything.

My Recommendation

A life changing experience that I highly recommend to anybody looking for financial success and personal growth!

 I was told to watch Steve’s meditation videos from a friend that has been very successful in foreign exchange trading, so I listened to his advice. Although I was initially skeptical about meditation’s ability to bring me financial success, after watching the video my entire perspective changed.

Reading Steve’s impact has a very strong impact on my life, as I began to use the meditation techniques daily and I immediately started seeing results in my trading! I became more confident, mindful and trusted in my abilities, which translated into making better financial decisions and more profit.

Every morning as soon as I wake up, I listen for the motivation that it provides to focus on what I need to do. Not only has my trading and financial situation become better, but overall as a person I am creating the life that I want to live. Both my health and relationships are better than ever and I owe the success to The 5 Meditations That Will Make You Rich!

Click Here To Get Instant Access

Discover Meditation and the Secret Gap

Discover Meditation and the Secret Gap

Stillness of mind, improved concentration and focus, heightened clarity, increased vitality and rejuvenation, happiness and emotional stability, improved memory and learning ability, inner peace, calm and oneness are just some of the benefits regular practice of meditation can give you.

Discover meditation and the secret gap and you will open a doorway connecting you to your true self, your soul, and leading you down the path of self realisation; that you are one with the universe, part of the whole that is everywhere, everyone and everything.

The simplest things are often the most difficult to comprehend. Meditation is the key that unlocks the door to your soul, who you really are, your purpose, why you are here and the true meaning of life.

Start your own journey and discover meditation for yourself.

What is meditation and where did it come from?

Meditation is the practice of focusing on an object or a single point of awareness. It is the practice of calming the mind to allow one to become immersed with their true essence; the true self that is one with all (source, universe, divine consciousness, universal consciousness or any other given name meaning the same).

As you will discover there are lots of approaches to meditation; hundreds of different tips and techniques. These all work; certainly in the beginning they help to focus your concentration. It is, however, important not to get attached to a particular technique or object. When it comes down to it meditation is all about a post realisation that you have discovered the secret gap that is as Wu describes; nothingness, emptiness, nonexistence. Only then are you meditating, and the key is not to grasp what you have discovered but, simply allow it to be, merging with the stillness, the silence and the tranquillity that is the pure essence of our universe.

It is the path to all wonder and the gate to the essence of everything. It can only be found within, by merging with the silence, the stillness and the tranquillity of the present moment. It is discovering meditation and the secret gap that leads to a life of fulfilment, happiness, and total inner peace. Life becomes flowing, effortless, and beautiful and at the same time you achieve self awareness which brings clarity, creativity and a deep sense of true purpose that is simply just being.

Meditation existed before history was recorded. Archaeologists found ancient Indian scriptures which detailed the practice of meditation dating back thousands of years. It is a well documented practice of many world religions to include Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism and Taoism. Spreading from the East meditation techniques are now practiced throughout the world by millions of people on a daily basis. Meditation in Sanskrit is Dhyāna and is one of the eight limbs of yoga which leads to a state of Samādhi (joy, bliss or peace). The physical practice of yoga, through the avenue of the breath, is in itself a moving meditation which again is practised by millions of people throughout the world.

What are the other benefits of meditation?

Studies have shown that meditation decreases the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression. Overall we become calmer, happier and more fulfilled.

Meditation improves concentration, which is essential to realising our true potential. Focused concentration generates great power and when our powers of concentration are improved we are able to use this not only for the purpose of meditating but in our other activities too. Part of achieving our goals and desires is having the ability to master our thoughts. By calming the mind and focusing our concentration, we are able to experience this self mastery and we can begin to change and replace our negative or unwanted thoughts with positive ones. This shift in our thought process aligns our energy with that of universal energy vibrations and we will begin to notice positive changes and improvements throughout all areas of our lives.

Physically meditation reduces stress related symptoms such as heart palpitations, tension and migraine headaches, disturbed sleep and nightmares and hypochondria. As stress and anxieties are reduced we are actually decreasing the probability of experiencing any heart related illnesses.

Studies have also shown that meditation can relieve chronic pain, drop cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure. The flow of air to the lungs increases and improves and we will experience an overall greater sense of wellbeing.

My Recommendation

A life changing experience that I highly recommend to anybody looking for financial success and personal growth!

 I was told to watch Steve’s meditation videos from a friend that has been very successful in foreign exchange trading, so I listened to his advice. Although I was initially skeptical about meditation’s ability to bring me financial success, after watching the video my entire perspective changed.

Reading Steve’s impact has a very strong impact on my life, as I began to use the meditation techniques daily and I immediately started seeing results in my trading! I became more confident, mindful and trusted in my abilities, which translated into making better financial decisions and more profit.

Every morning as soon as I wake up, I listen for the motivation that it provides to focus on what I need to do. Not only has my trading and financial situation become better, but overall as a person I am creating the life that I want to live. Both my health and relationships are better than ever and I owe the success to The 5 Meditations That Will Make You Rich!

Click Here To Get Instant Access

A Simple, Effective Way to Ease Stress and Anxiety

Americans work longer hours, take fewer vacations, and retire later than anyone in the industrialized world. It is no wonder we are among the most stressed-out people on the planet. We also have a bad habit of dealing with the pressure and anxiety we encounter in unhealthy ways. We eat too much and drink too much and pretend we’re in control. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Medication nation

In an effort to deal with agitation and unease, more and more Americans are turning to prescription pills. Brands like Zoloft, Paxil, and Cymbalta have become household names, with Americans spending tens of billions of dollars each year on drugs designed to treat anxiety and depression. But like all prescription medications, these powerful mood-altering drugs have a laundry list of unpleasant side effects, from nausea and insomnia to fatigue and sexual dysfunction. There must be a better way…

Meditation nation?

The one silver lining in an otherwise ominous sky is the recent rediscovery of an ancient form of stress relief. Whether used for spiritual enlightenment or emotional healing, meditation has been a part of human history for thousands of years. Although it originated in Asia, meditation is now universal, appearing in cultures the world over. With that said, the practice is less popular in the Western world, where it has struggled to gain mainstream acceptance… Until recently, that is.

According to a 2007 U.S. Census Bureau Survey, nearly 10 percent of the adult population practices some form of meditation, up from only 8 percent in 2002. As a result, a growing number of yoga schools and medical centers are opening their doors to the 20-plus million Americans who use meditation on a regular basis.

Research findings

Although Western medicine has long questioned the benefits of meditation, it has been forced to reevaluate its position in recent years as scientific evidence of meditation’s healthfulness has come to light. In one study completed at Johns Hopkins University, researchers found that meditation helped relieve anxiety, pain, and moderate depression in some patients. Another study found a 10 to 20 percent improvement in symptoms of depression for subjects who meditated regularly. Those numbers are similar to the positive effects of antidepressants, with far fewer side effects!

What is meditation?

Most Westerners have only a vague idea of what meditation is and how it works. They might know, for instance, that it involves concentrated focus upon a sound, object, movement, etc. in order to increase awareness of the present moment. While others believe that meditation consists of simply clearing the mind and shutting the world out. And the truth is that both of those opinions are correct. Meditation can involve deep thinking or almost no thinking at all. Some of the most common ways to meditate include:

· Guided meditation: Also known as visualization or guided imagery, this popular method of meditation involves relaxing mental images of places and situations. Practitioners are instructed to incorporate as many of their senses as possible, including sights, smells, sounds, and textures of soothing objects and environments. Because it takes time to paint a comforting mental picture, newcomers may benefit from expert instruction by a teacher or guide.

· Mindfulness meditation: Rather than trying to escape from ourselves or our current predicament, this type of meditation helps us increase our awareness by living in the moment. How? During a mindfulness meditation session, you focus on what you experience, such as your breathing, passing thoughts, or emotions. However, you do not linger on the details of any of them, but rather let them pass without judgment.

· Mantra meditation: Popular in the Buddhist faith, when used for relaxation purposes mantra meditation consists of simply repeating a calming word or phrase to keep distracting thoughts at bay. Although this simple technique can be practiced anytime, anywhere, it can take many months of practice to stop your mind from wandering during mantra recitations. Beginners are instructed to focus intently on the sound of their own voices in order to block out everything else.

· Transcendent meditation: One of the most widely practiced forms of meditation, the transcendent variety also involves mantras. What distinguishes it from the aforementioned technique is that the mantra recitations are not used to block everything out, but rather to slow mental functioning to relaxing levels. At last count, more than 10 million people practiced transcendent meditation around the world.

· Heart rhythm meditation: With a focus on controlled breathing, this method seeks to coordinate the breath and the heartbeat to reduce anxiety and stress. Practitioners utilize several different rhythmic breathing patterns where inhalations and exhalations are made at equal intervals and beats. For example, the « swinging breath » method features 8 beats in and 8 beats out. Use of full lung capacity is imperative, as is concentration on the heartbeat, which should slow with breathing into more consistent patterns.

Yoga: Although it is not the focus of the discipline, meditation is involved in most yoga exercises and techniques. From breathing exercises to stretches and poses, yogis and their students use meditation to develop more flexible bodies and calm minds. Balance and concentration is achieved by focusing on the moment and shutting out the world for awhile. Those who are able to master basic meditation techniques generally progress more rapidly in yoga training for those very reasons.

Tai chi: Probably the most active way to achieve relaxation through meditation, tai chi is a gentle Chinese martial art that consists of a series of slow, graceful movements that are performed while practicing deep breathing. Commonly referred to as moving meditation, tai chi promotes both physical and mental relaxation. The popular Chinese pastime has also be shown to increase concentration and focus in those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
Common features

Generally speaking, meditation is an umbrella term that describes any type of focused activity that helps produce a state of deep relaxation. So while there may be different ways of getting there, all types of meditation share the following features:

· Focused attention: A fundamental component of meditation, focusing your attention on a sound, image, or activity helps clear the mind, which can produce a state of profound relaxation.

· Deep breathing: One of the simplest and most effective ways to relax is to simply take deep, slow breaths from the abdomen. This helps reduce the movement of the neck, shoulder, and upper chest by shifting it to the diaphragm, where it belongs. It also helps the lungs take in more oxygen, which has a calming effect on the body and mind.

· A quiet environment. If your goal is to quiet your mind, it helps to be in a silent setting with few distractions. For obvious reasons, we strongly suggest that you keep cell phones, computers, TVs, and other electronics out of these areas.

· A comfortable position. Some types of meditation are quite strict about body positioning, while others are far less formal. When practicing on your own, use a comfortable position that helps you get the most out of your meditation.

Health benefits

As different as they may be, all of the aforementioned techniques can help you achieve inner peace. This state of calm and repose has salubrious effects that go far beyond stress reduction and anxiety relief. When practiced on a regular basis, people who meditate report the following health benefits:

· Lower blood pressure

· Reduction of negative emotions

· Less fear and anxiety

· Better stress management skills

· Improved mental concentration and focus

· Better sleep

· Decreased muscle tension

· More energy

· Better memory

· Fewer colds and minor illnesses

Daily meditation

One of the most appealing aspects of meditation is that it can be practiced wherever you are – whether at home, at work, or on the road. But to get the maximum possible benefits of meditation, we recommend daily sessions for improved physical and emotional wellbeing. With that in mind, here are a few simple ways you can practice meditation on your own.

Breathing. Whether it lasts ten minutes or two hours, breathing in and out in a slow, controlled way can help relieve stress and anxiety and promote healthy sleep.

Progressive muscle relaxation. A slightly more advanced technique, progressive relaxation involves focusing your attention on certain parts of your body, particularly on sore or tense areas such as the hands or feet, to provide relief. When combined with deep breathing, it has an impressive track record.

Repeat a mantra. Focusing on the sound your own voice as you repeat a certain word or phrase to relax is a time-test technique that crosses many different cultures, religions, and healing disciplines. You are free to create your own mantra or to pick a popular one from an established form of mantra meditation, such as transcendent meditation.

Walk and meditate. A healthy and efficient way to unwind, combining walking with meditation helps clear the mind and cleanse the body at the same time. One easy way to accomplish this is to focus on your body’s movements instead of on the destination. Slow the pace a bit and breathe deeply as you step to get the most out of your daily constitutional.

Conclusion

If you take only one thing away from our short synopsis, let it be that meditation is infinitely adaptable. No single style, form, or system is set in stone, but rather can be altered to meet your needs. Always remember that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. What matters most is that the techniques you use work for you – which is why we encourage you to experiment early and often.

My Recommendation

A life changing experience that I highly recommend to anybody looking for financial success and personal growth!

 I was told to watch Steve’s meditation videos from a friend that has been very successful in foreign exchange trading, so I listened to his advice. Although I was initially skeptical about meditation’s ability to bring me financial success, after watching the video my entire perspective changed.

Reading Steve’s impact has a very strong impact on my life, as I began to use the meditation techniques daily and I immediately started seeing results in my trading! I became more confident, mindful and trusted in my abilities, which translated into making better financial decisions and more profit.

Every morning as soon as I wake up, I listen for the motivation that it provides to focus on what I need to do. Not only has my trading and financial situation become better, but overall as a person I am creating the life that I want to live. Both my health and relationships are better than ever and I owe the success to The 5 Meditations That Will Make You Rich!

Click Here To Get Instant Access

What Is The Difference Between Meditation And Martial Arts?

How it is the difference between meditation and martial arts

Walking the path of a martial artist, we are often confronted with the past and the history behind the arts that we practice. For me, the art was Muay Thai, and its history is intertwined within the fabric of the Thai culture. Important parts of any culture are the religious or spiritual practices of its people. In Thailand, one simply has to observe the many golden statues dispersed throughout the country to know, the principal practice is Buddhism. Buddhism is also a part of Muay Thai, where the ceremonial Wai Khru Ram Muay is performed before each fight as a tribute to teacher, tradition and Buddha.

As a student of the art, I was intrigued by these practices. I found it fascinating that a sport, as potentially brutal as Muay Thai, had this strong spiritual backbone. I decided to learn more about Buddhism, what made it tick, and one of the first things I discovered was the importance afforded to meditation. A few weeks later, I enrolled in a six week meditation class and began a journey into something that became much more than just spiritual. It became a journey into the human mind and all of the mysteries that it holds.

What I have discovered about meditation so far goes way beyond the scope of a single article. What I hope to impart in this article is how the practice of meditation can benefit martial arts performance, based on personal experience, scientific research and parallels drawn from sports psychology.

A brief definition:

Throughout this article I will discuss a variety of meditative techniques, all rooted in the same general practice but each offering their own little subtleties. As a general definition, encompassing all of these methods, I will describe « meditation » as: « making a conscious effort to control one’s breathing and mental processes in order to achieve a pre-determined goal ». This is obviously a very broad definition, but hopefully as the various techniques are introduced, a more specific one will begin to take shape.

Breathing: fuel for the engine

Our automated breathing system produces on average 900 breaths/hour. For most of us, this system is designed to sustain an average energy output with an occasional increase in exertion levels. In other words, it is designed to accommodate sitting, walking and occasionally running. As athletes, or martial artists, we demand much more from our systems. As we train our body, our breathing system usually follows, but again, it does so based on an automated response to our body’s needs.

With meditative practice, you train your breathing system directly. You learn to control your inhalation and exhalation. As your system evolves, you take in more air per breath and breathe fewer times per minute, therefore increasing your breathing efficiency. As your breathing efficiency increases, so does your performance level, especially explosiveness and endurance. In most high intensity sports, including martial arts, having this advantage can be extremely beneficial. By specifically training your breathing system through meditation you can accelerate the process of gaining this advantage.

Closed-eye vs open-eye

Many different schools of thought exist on meditative practice. Some preach closing one’s eyes, others suggest keeping them open. Some recommend focusing on a single point, others encourage taking in your entire surroundings. I believe that they all have a purpose and can be used for specific reasons at different times. Here are a few examples:

Closed-eye with focused attention: Visualization is a big part of sports psychology and many elite athletes are trained to use it on a regular basis, especially those practicing individual sports where strategy is important. In competitive martial arts, such as MMA, visualization can be a valuable asset in fight preparation. An athlete can recreate the various circumstances he might encounter and visualize himself performing at his best. Of course, how efficiently this translates to his actual performance will depend on his ability to visualize and control his thoughts. This can only be improved through regular meditative practice.

Open-eye with focused attention: In some Zen-Buddhism schools, they suggest having eyes slightly open while keeping them focused on a single object. In some of my readings, they suggest studying that object until you know its every detail intimately. This practice can translate very well to martial arts, where having the ability to study an opponent and notice the smallest of details can often be the advantage needed to be victorious. As with most meditative techniques, the ability to focus depends on the ability to control one’s thoughts, to focus one’s mind, and again, this can only be accomplished through regular meditative practice.

Peace or Wolf

Most meditative schools will teach that the goal of meditation is to reach a state of peace, to control our thoughts, clear our mind, and become at peace with everything around us. Though I completely agree with this objective, I don’t believe it to be the only option. In my personal practice, I like to experiment with another possibility, especially when it comes to training, and that option, for me, is Wolf. The Wolf represents a symbol of power, of strong primal energy, something I can focus on in my visualization. These two options are important for the martial artist but require a different approach:

Peace: According to studies, regular practice of most meditative techniques leads to a natural evolution of self to a more peaceful state. Certain physiological changes occur in our brains that allow for this to happen. Without going into too much detail, our brain chemistry changes, our brainwaves re-calibrate and our nervous system readjusts. We begin to feel a stronger sense of balance and calmness while reducing feelings of stress, anxiety and anger. As a martial artist, I believe this to be incredibly beneficial. A clearer, well balanced mind allows for a better tuned body, faster thinking and a greater sense of confidence, all major advantages.

Wolf: I have experimented with this concept in different ways, and though it is still early in my practice, I have achieved some interesting results. The idea is this: when you gain a certain amount of control over your mind, you can begin to use visualization as a powerful tool. Instead of aiming for Peace, you can visualize yourself becoming more powerful, feel the energy coursing through your body as your mind becomes completely focused on the task at hand. In a previous article I discussed achieving a primal state. This technique can help you achieve that state. For each of us, power can be represented by a different symbol. For me, it is the Wolf. Again, this technique, like any other, requires control of the mind, control of our thoughts and especially control of our emotional state.

Both of these options are important to become a well-balanced martial artist. The secret is discovering that perfect balance, between Peace and Wolf that allows you to perform to the best of your abilities.

Practice: the only way

I’ve but touched on a topic that is incredibly vast and includes so much more information. Just like every other technique required in martial arts, the only way to perfect meditation is through hours of practice and repetition. The mind is a muscle that needs to be developed in order to better its performance. Our breathing system should be treated the same way. But most importantly, one must enter this practice with an open mind and a peaceful mind. Anger and aggression will only slow down the process as they are much harder to control and clear from our thoughts. These techniques are not for everyone, but to those who are willing, they can not only lead to better performances but also a better quality of life.

What Is The Goal Of Meditation?

What is the goal of meditation?

Instructions on how to meditate abound. Most schools teach one (or a combination) of three main meditation techniques, namely mindfulness meditation, concentrative meditation, or analytical meditation.

Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the processes of the mind in order to become aware of the continuous flow of sensations and feelings, images, thoughts, sounds, smells, and other mental activity. The trick here is to be aware of the mental processes as they occur without becoming involved in them. The meditator sits quietly and simply witnesses whatever thoughts come up. She does not react to or identify with any thoughts, memories, worries, or images that arise in her mind. This practise is used to cultivate a peaceful, clear, and non-reactive state of mind. Mindfulness meditation can be likened to a wide-angle lens. The meditator is focused in the present and aware of all mental activity as it takes place without becoming involved in it.

Concentrative meditation: may be likened to the zoom lens of a camera. Here, the meditator purposefully narrows down her field of attention and a single object becomes the focus of awareness. The chosen object of meditation may be the breath, an image, or a sound (mantra). Single-minded concentration on the object of meditation to the exclusion of all other thoughts stills the mind, and allows greater awareness and clarity to emerge. The simplest form of concentrative meditation is to sit quietly, focusing the attention on the breath. Yogic philosophy teaches that there is a direct correlation between our breath and our state of the mind. When we are anxious, scared, upset, or distracted, our breath follows suit by becoming shallow, agitated, and irregular. When we are calm, focused, and composed on the other hand, we find that our breath is equally relaxed – slow, deep, and regular. The ongoing continuous rhythm of inhalation and exhalation provides a natural object of meditation. By focusing the awareness on the breath, the mind eventually becomes absorbed in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. As a result, the breath becomes slow and deep, and the mind more tranquil and receptive.

Breathing meditation is usually taught as a preliminary stage of meditation. Nevertheless, it is a very worthwhile practise with quite powerful effects. Breathing meditation is easy to do and it shows us that it is possible to experience inner peace and contentment by controlling the mind, without having to depend upon external conditions for our happiness. Once the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arise from within. This feeling of contentment coupled with an enhanced sense of well-being help us to cope with the busy frenzy and the difficulties of daily life. Many of the daily problems we encounter, including bad health, are caused or aggravated by mental stress. By simply practising breathing meditation for ten or fifteen minutes each day, we are able to reduce this stress. As we learn to create a calm, spacious feeling in the mind, many of our usual problems fall away and difficult situations become easier to deal with.

Analytical meditation: differs from mindfulness meditation and concentrative meditation in that it involves rational thinking. This technique teaches the meditator to engage in an intentional process of investigation, or thought, about an object, analyzing its various aspects and examining it from various points of view. Using her imagination, memory and powers of reasoning the meditator attempts to induce a specific thought or feeling. Analytical meditation is used to change the meditator’s old destructive thought patterns and replace them by a more positive, inspired and integrated outlook on life. Hence, objects of meditation include loving kindness, the preciousness of human life, universal compassion, and the ultimate (non-dualistic) nature of reality. Once the meditator has come to grasps with the object of meditation on an intellectual level, she uses concentrative meditation to focus on the object single-pointedly, avoiding all distracting thoughts. When the object of meditation begins to fade, she resumes her analytical meditation to render the object clear or definite again. Eastern meditation masters liken analytical meditation with the bellows needed to light a fire: There comes a time when the fire is strong enough for us to put down the bellows and let it blaze. Likewise, they teach, there comes a time when we cease the practise of analytical meditation and let concentrative meditation take over. Over time, in the same way as a fire gradually loses its intensity so that we have to apply the bellows again, the object of our concentrative meditation will gradually fade and we will have to apply analytical meditation once more.

Analytical meditation: is used to gain a clear and definite understanding of the object of meditation. Once this is established, concentrative meditation is used to render the mind more and more closely acquainted with the object. Eventually the mind and its object mix and become inseparable. For example, analytical meditation on the sufferings experienced by others naturally arouses a feeling of compassion. When this happens, concentrative meditation is used to continuously familiarize the mind with compassion. Eventually, the theory goes, the meditator’s mind will mix inseparably with compassion. This is called a ‘realisation’ of compassion. It is said that once compassion has been ‘realised’, in all that we think and all that we do, our mind is never without compassion.

What is the goal of meditation? : Meditation is used as an aid to relaxation, to make the mind more peaceful and to ‘recharge our batteries’. It allows us to gain a different outlook on life, by allowing us to reflect on the nature of our own mind. In meditation, we have a direct experience of being. By sitting quietly and paying attention to our mind, we are given the chance to discover those parts of ourselves that are usually buried in the subconscious. By integrating these parts of our being we achieve greater inner peace and a sense of purpose and fulfilment that inspires us to live life to the fullest. The masters put it this way: When the sea is rough, sediment is churned up and the water becomes murky, but when the wind dies down the mud gradually settles and the water becomes clear. In a similar way, when the customarily incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through meditation, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear and peace pervades our entire being.

How to Meditate Successfully?

What is the current status of your meditation practice? - You love to meditate and would like to gain some insights about how to go even deeper or make it even more effective? - What motivates you to meditate? In this article, we explore 4 Steps to Setup a Successful Meditation Session.

What is the current status of your meditation practice? Is it in the idea stage, waiting to be implemented at the right time? Maybe you know it’s something that would be good for you, but haven’t yet clicked into doing it as a daily routine?

Or maybe, you’ve done it at times, but either been frustrated by the results or lost interest? Or perhaps, you love to meditate and would like to gain some insights about how to go even deeper or make it even more effective?

In this article, we explore 4 Steps to Setup a Successful Meditation Session.

  1. Set Up a Meditative Space

Whether it’s a spare room, a closet, or a part of your bedroom, define a space that you dedicate to meditation. You can mark this space with a rug, a meditation bench, chair, or cushion.

By meditating in the same space consistently it comes to represent « meditation » to you, and thereby becomes a space that supports you moving into a meditative state. After a period of time, just sitting in this space will relax you.

Another way to enhance the atmosphere of your meditation space is to set up an « altar » that represents what is important to you in your practice and your life.

If the idea of having an altar inspires you, it can take any form that is pleasing and motivating to you. It can include photos, symbols, candles, flowers, offering bowls, statues, quotes, and so on. The basic idea is to put significant items there-ones that put you in the right mindset for meditating and remind you WHY you are taking time to practice.

If you use meditation to support a religious faith, place images or items that represent your faith on your altar. Personally, I have symbols of several different spiritual traditions in my space to represent the Universal Spirituality underlying all faiths and traditions. I also have family pictures and quotes that remind me of my higher intentions. The most important quality of your altar is that it represents what is important to you.

Once you’ve meditated in your sacred space for a while and used it to grow your inner skills, you’ll be able to take your meditation on the road and do it virtually anytime, anywhere-no matter what is going on around you. This is when your meditation becomes truly powerful. Yet, even then, you’ll probably really appreciate and value those times when you get to meditate in your sacred space.

  1. Create a Ritual Around Your Practice

Set a regular time for meditation and create a consistent routine that moves you into your practice.

One way to support regular practice is to make meditation a part of an established routine that you already do. For most people, the best way is to integrate meditation into their morning routine. This encourages you to start your day from a relaxed, present, intentional perspective-and it insures that you meditate before other events in the day get in the way.

Once you’ve decided on the time you will meditate, plan your day accordingly. If you are meditating first thing, make sure you go to bed early enough that you can comfortably wake up early enough to practice without rushing. Set your alarm to wake you up with plenty of time.

Once you get up, have a routine to move you into your practice. For example, I first massage around my eyes and back of my head while still lying in bed. I then massage the bottoms of my feet with some tennis balls that are at the foot of my bed when I sit up. I use the toilet, then splash water on my face and massage my scalp. Then, I do some stretches to limber up before I stand in my standing meditation posture. All of this awakens and loosens me up and prepares me for a good practice session.

After standing meditation, I do a seated meditation, then I shake out my whole body, and finish with prayers for my family and the whole planet at my altar.

Having a routine that includes how I wake up, makes the movement into my practice seamless and reliable. Over the years, I have adapted and grown my routine as needs, insights, and new learning have guided me. Yet, the basic idea of having a ritual sequence has made waking up something that I look forward to and moving into my practice easy and natural.

  1. Adjust Your Posture

If you search for photos of people meditating, nine times out of ten you’ll find them seated in a cross-legged position. Unfortunately, this gives many people the impression that this is THE WAY to meditate. I heartily disagree.

In fact, unless you’ve grown up in a culture in which that is the way you normally sit, I encourage you to sit on a chair, bench, or bed that puts the soles of your feet flat on the floor and parallel with each other, with your hips level with or slightly above your knees.

Having the soles of your feet flat on the floor and parallel to each other puts you in a « grounded » position that also bio-mechanically aligns your feet, knees, and hips. This position is easy on your joints.

There are many acceptable hand positions for meditation-each with their own purpose. A basic starting position is to place your hands palms-down on your legs. This position is relaxing, while it also supports upright posture and alert attention. Finer points are « softening » your hands and lowering your shoulders to release tension and having a slight space under your armpits to encourage an open, expansive, spacious feeling in your body.

Next, imagine a string attached to the top of your head, drawing your spine into an upright position. Tuck your chin slightly to lengthen the back of your neck and put a subtle smile on your lips to encourage a calm, accepting, positive attitude.

Lightly close your eyes to support you in focusing inwardly. Unless you are using a technique that focuses on energy above your head, direct your gaze slightly downward. After practicing a while, you may notice that your eyes naturally open just slightly, with a soft focus to the outer environment.

Finally, sit forward on the front edge of your seat. Sit far enough forward so you feel some weight in your feet, which encourages a grounded, present feeling in your body. Sitting without back support also aligns and strengthens your spine, which has an empowering affect.

As you align and strengthen your spine, you are more likely to stay aligned with your higher intentions and feel strong in following them, rather than getting distracted and swayed by less important desires. You develop a strong « backbone. »

Now, many people email me saying that this posture is just too hard and painful to maintain.

The reason for that is tension along the spine, weakness, and misalignment. Meditation practice is actually a powerful way to overcome these issues. First it reveals those issues, then it heals those issues.

During your meditation, you become aware of spinal tension, weakness, and misalignment. And, yes, that doesn’t feel so good, initially. Yet, if you can accept it and observe it without judgment, without fighting it, over time, you’ll notice that the tensions release, the spine adjusts, you come into alignment, and get stronger.

A well-known meditation teacher, Dr. Meares, says that some discomfort when starting to meditate is actually a good thing, because it teaches you to be able to observe discomfort without reacting, judging, or running away from it. As you calmly sit with discomfort, over time, it resolves and changes for the better. This is a powerful lesson to take with you into any uncomfortable situation in life. Be calmly present, relax and observe things non-judgmentally, then notice resolutions as they arise.

All that being said in favor of sitting upright without back support, you might approach this incrementally. Start by sitting forward for just a minute or two, calmly observe any discomfort until it is just too distracting, then sit back against support for the remainder of your practice. Gradually increase the amount of time that you sit in an unsupported upright position. After practicing for a period of time, this will actually become a comfortable, relaxed, and empowered way for you to sit.

One caveat is that some people cannot sit this way due to severe physical impairments. If that is the case, you can use back support or even lie down to meditate. If you do that, simply try to keep your spine as straight as possible by imagining that string extending your spine, tuck your chin slightly, adopt a subtle smile, soften your hands, and lightly close your eyes.

  1. Adopt the Three Noble Principles-Good in the Beginning, Good in the Middle, Good at the End

In their book, « Meditation: An In-Depth Guide, » Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson share these three principles for meditation practice.

« Good in the Beginning » means that when you start a meditation session call to mind your intention, your motivation for practicing. You might want to « relax, to be calm, to let go of stress, to be well, to heal. But what is suggested here is that the more we can expand our motivation, the more encompassing our motivation, the more meaningful our meditation becomes, the more we will value it, the more likely we are to do it, and the more benefit it will bring. » (p.69, Meditation: An In-Depth Guide)

Consider how your meditation practice will have a positive impact on your day, on your interactions with others, and even on the collective consciousness of « all of us together. » What if your practice is making a positive contribution not only to your life, but also to the lives of others, and to all life on Earth?

In the Buddhist tradition, the goal of meditation practice is enlightenment, so that we can use our enlightenment to bring enlightenment to all beings. In the Christian contemplative tradition, meditation leads us into deeper communion with God, so that we bring Divine Love and Light into the world. In a mind-body view of meditation, we come into a relaxed, expanded, focused state so that we heal our wounds, grow our inner skills, be more effective in anything we do, and more caring and compassionate with others.

What motivates you to meditate?

« Good in the Middle » has to do with your attitude during meditation. The attitude to practice is calm, present, non-judgmental awareness of whatever happens. Recognize whatever comes up, accept it, release it, and return to your focal cues.

« Good in the End » has to do with how you finish your practice. Rather than rushing off into your day, it’s important to end intentionally and even to dedicate your practice to someone or something beyond yourself. From a meditative state you can more easily visualize positive outcomes for yourself, others, and the planet. You are also in a powerful state from which to pray. You can use your meditation to connect to a greater mission in life, such as being a vessel for Spirit to be more present in the world.

As you end your meditation think of how the skills you developed and the state of being you entered can have a greater impact in the larger whole.

When you Set Up a Meditative Space, Create a Ritual Around Your Practice, Sit with Good Posture, and Adopt the Three Noble Principles, your meditation practice will become much easier and more enjoyable, significant, and successful.

Enjoy your practice!

Meditation Techniques For Beginners

Meditation Techniques For Beginners We all must start somewhere however so here are a few meditation techniques for beginners and also for those who have tried and failed thus far.

The power and effectiveness of regular and deep meditation has been known for centuries by those who have actively learned and practiced it. As the world gets busier and our lives continue to get more involved and stressed, more and more people are turning to this peaceful art in order to gain some balance.

Previously, meditation could only be achieved through years of discipline, training and focus but now there are some amazingly easy Meditation Techniques For Beginners that puts deep meditation in reach of everyone! If you have tried meditation before and failed or are just starting out – please read on!

But what is it about meditation techniques and why is it important?

The great Swami Nirliptananda is quoted as saying « Meditation is very important. It has a very high objective-to take us away from this world of suffering into the world of happiness, joy and Bliss. It is a method, a discipline, that we have to follow very discreetly and if we follow it properly we will find that meditation helps us to discover ourselves, what we really are. As we get deeper into meditation we come nearer to the Source of our Being. »

Pretty straight forward but extremely powerful!

When many people meditate, they try to consciously block out all thoughts and disturbances from their brain and mind to achieve a clear and peaceful state. What many fail to realize is that it is very hard to simply do this as a conscious effort and it is in fact the training of your brain that allows you to completely clear your mind. We find this incredibly hard to do simply because for years we have been taught and encouraged to have the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time. The inability to do this normally results in negative comments made especially if you are a husband being harassed by your wife for not being able to simultaneously look after the children, program the VCR, hang out the washing and listen to the intricacies of her day!:)

The ultimate goal of meditation techniques is to get the mind into a state of ecstasy or « gnosis » and is achieved by changing our brainwaves from our normal everyday Beta state, through to Alpha state and then finally into the Theta state. Meditation at the Theta state is regarded to be the Gateway to eternal bliss!

Achieve Deep Theta Meditation Techniques

We all must start somewhere however so here are a few meditation techniques for beginners and also for those who have tried and failed thus far.

Mirror gazing is one of the most simple meditations you can do. All that is involved is gazing into a mirror at your own image and reflect on how your life is going at the moment. Through these reflections, you will become more at ease. At this time you should ask the universe for whatever it is you want or desire.

Prayer meditation. Believe it or not, most prayer is actually meditation! You don’t have to believe in a god or visit a church to do it either. You just close your eyes and sit peacefully, quietly and at ease giving thanks for the goodness you receive in life. Again, when you are completely at ease, this is the time you send your wishes and desires out into the universe and your subconscious.

Candle meditation is another very common meditation technique. There is just something so very soothing and relaxing about watching a candle flicker around back and forth. You can do it for just a few minutes or even hours. Just focus on the flame and clear your mind of all blockages and disturbances. You will feel a massive change in state after doing so and you will feel completely at peace.

The techniques listed above will certainly help you get into a meditative state and will definitely relax your mind however if you are looking for the real juice of meditation where you pass through the alpha state and well into the theta state then you previously needed years and years of disciplined training to achieve the point of reference required to do so.

Now, using technology that has massively evolved, the astonishing power of brain entrainment using binaural beats mp3 and isochronic tones, allows you to put your brain in exactly the right frequency and state to perform alpha and theta meditation merely by listening to them!

To put it simply, these Meditation Recordings will alter your consciousness, helping you find that peaceful escape you are searching for. They will lower your brain frequencies and put you in the Alpha and Theta states which is essential for Meditation. You will hear peaceful nature sounds and harmonics with True Entrainment Frequencies in the background which will be responsible for your Shift In Consciousness.

If you have always wanted to deeply meditate or have failed time and time again to master this art then please make it easier for yourself and take a closer look at brain entrainment meditation recordings. Enjoy the shift in consciousness you are guaranteed to achieve in just minutes from now!

Like most meditation and deep alpha, theta and delta states, it is all about getting your mind and your brain into the best range of brainwaves to perform these amazing skills and abilities.

Meditation for Anxiety

It is likely that we have all experienced anxiety at some point in our lives. In many instances anxiety is a normal, adaptive, and positive response. For example, anxiety can be a motivating factor to increase our efforts and performance. You feel anxious about an upcoming final exam, you begin to review your notes frequently, and you may even stay up late to study. Your boss asks you to deliver a presentation, you begin to gather as much data as you can and you practice your presentation at home in front of your dog or cat. Therefore having some level of anxiety can serve as a motivating factor to work on our goals and problems. On the other hand, anxiety that is abnormal or problematic is a major symptom, or the cause of other symptoms, and requires proper professional attention.

Anxiety becomes problematic when the level of anxiety is inappropriate and prevents you from doing day to day activities that most people do without effort or much hesitation. A normal level of anxiety in regards to flying an airplane might make your heart rate go up a little, or you become a little sweaty, and begin pacing before boarding the plane. An abnormal level of anxiety would be too high that you fainted when you got on the plane or you completely refused to get on the plane. Anxiety of any level would be considered abnormal if there were no realistic justification for anxiety in that situation. It is realistic to be anxious when you have a spider crawling up your leg, but it is unrealistic to be anxious if you see a spider in a magazine or TV. Anxiety is abnormal if it leads to negative consequences, such as poor performance on the job, relationships, school, etc. Your boss asks you to deliver a presentation but you are anxious about speaking in public and you refuse, you may not get fired, but you may be overlooked next time there is a promotion.

There are four major anxiety states, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Anxiety states usually involved an emotional state that is diffused and not related to any particular situation or stimulus. The generalized anxiety involves general, persistent anxiety that last for at least six months and is associated with a variety of situation or activities, such as work, school, or relationships. The anxiety is present constantly, and there is no escape from it. Imagine the first few minutes before your driving test or a major exam or other activity that made you anxious, and then imagine those feelings lasting months, and not knowing exactly why you feel that way. That is what it feels like to have a generalized anxiety disorder.

A panic disorder is another anxiety state that involves briefs periods of exceptionally intense spontaneous anxiety. During a panic attack an individual may experience one of several physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pains, dizziness, hot and cold flashes, sweating, faintness, trembling and shaking. These periods come and go suddenly, usually lasting about ten minutes, and their occurrence is unpredictable. A panic attack can occur when the person is very relaxed or in deep sleep. Panic attacks can be very frightening; the individual may begin feeling a sense of loss of control and begins to avoid social events or public places to avoid any panic attacks in public and the sense of humiliation it may bring.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety state that involves recurrent obsession or compulsion, or both. An obsession is a persistent idea, thought, image, or impulse that an individual cannot get out of his or her head and that causes and individual distress or anxiety. A person is anxious about becoming infected with germs, so the individual frequently washes his or her hands, minutes at times, or avoid touching things in public places. It is important not to confuse an obsession with worries. Worries are thoughts related to everyday experiences, such as work, family, and money. You know that you have some level of control over these things, so you do not resist them. An obsession can interfere with a person’s thoughts, and it can impair a person’s ability to function effectively. In general an obsession cannot be resisted and it may be very difficult to control.

The last anxiety state is posttraumatic stress disorder. It involves a variety of anxiety related symptoms that starts with a particular traumatic event and then continues for a long time after the event, such as a car crash, earthquake, etc. The individual has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in which the individual or another person was injured or life was threatened. The individual persistently re-experiences the traumatic event, has disturbing dreams about it, experiences flashbacks, or feels the intense anxiety that was felt during the traumatic event. The person may become detached and chooses not to talk about the event, and may avoid activities that may have led to the traumatic event.

There are various methods and strategies to treat anxiety.

Anxiety that is persistent and that affects normal daily activities should be taken seriously, and professional help should be found as soon as possible. Professional help from certified therapies to treat anxiety usually comes in the form of psychotherapy or cognitive therapy. In psychotherapy, the therapist tries to help the client identify and overcome the cause of anxiety. If the cause can not be identify or overcome, the focus become on helping the individual cope with the symptoms through imagery, meditation, music therapy, or other methods of relaxation.

Cognitive therapy tries to change the person’s beliefs concerning the dangerous situations ( « dogs are dangerous ») or their ability to cope (« I can deal with dogs… even big ones »). Cognitive therapy can be very effective if you can clearly identify the cause of the anxiety. Drugs are sometimes used to correct problems with brain functioning. Drugs can have unpleasant side effects. They provide a treatment and not a cure, and there is the risk of becoming dependent on these drugs.

It is worth emphasizing that some level of anxiety can be a good thing. So next time you feel anxious about an upcoming project at work or school, or there is a major upcoming event, see it as a friendly reminder from your brain that is telling you to prepare and be ready. Some of the most common techniques to relieve stress include deep breathing techniques, imagery, meditation, therapeutic touch, and yoga. Some of us breathe without giving it much thought. Experts say that how we breathe can reduce stress and anxiety, boost our immune system, and help overcome debilitating respiratory diseases. Researchers suspect that relaxation produced by deep breathing techniques may calm parts of the nervous system that directly affects your lungs. Moreover, the increased amount of oxygen available during deep breathing may cause the body to release natural tranquilizing hormones called endorphins.

Imagery or visualization techniques use the conscious mind to create mental images to evoke physical changes in the body, improve perceived well-being, and enhance self-awareness. Imagery can evoke powerful psychological responses. Many doctors and researchers now believe that imagery or visualization techniques can definitely enhance the body’s ability to heal itself, and decrease anxiety states. You are anxious about an important presentation at work or school, or flying makes you anxious. You can decrease the level of anxiety by visualizing the event and seeing yourself calm and relaxed during the event, and in control of the situation.

Practitioners describe meditation as a form of inward concentration that allows you to focus on your senses, step back from thoughts and feelings, and perceive each moment as a unique event. Meditation helps you quiet your mind from anxiety causing events, and helps you get relief from physical and emotional wounds. Meditation can be practiced in many different forms, but the basis of meditation is an appreciation and awareness of nature and of forces outside human control. Many of us get anxious about things we cannot control such as the weather or traffic; we need to accept these things simply as part of our lives.

Best wishes.

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