Tag Archives: simple meditation

A, simple, guided meditation

A, simple, guided meditation

I have used this guided meditation with many of my clients who, like many of us, suffer from the daily stress that life can bring.  It is not always possible to take time out (holidays) in order to get away from these stresses but respite can be found, along with increased energy, through simple meditation.

Initially used as a guided meditation,  it is an easy path to follow and soon the guide is no longer required.  A simple exercise that takes up little time yet has amazing results.  It is a real treasure.

  • It is a warm summer day, a perfect day.
  • You are in the terraced garden of large country house where there are people sitting, sunbathing or strolling.
  • It is peaceful and quiet – everyone here has come for a rest and are quietly appreciating the beautiful surroundings and you, like them, are listening to the bird song.
  • As you walk across the lawn you can feel the grass under your bare feet.  It is a comforting feeling.
  • Ahead of you, you see a broad stairway that leads down to the next terrace. There are seven stairs.
  • As you descend each of them you become more relaxed and your breathing becomes deeper and effortless.
  • This terrace is quieter, with fewer people.
  • As you walk across the grass, you become aware of a high wall that has ivy and honeysuckle growing on it.
  • You know this wall well.  It surrounds a secret garden and you have the only key.  It is your garden, your secret place, where you can sit in peace while you relax and recharge your batteries.
  • As you get closer, you can see your secret door.
  • Unlocking and opening the door, you enter a magical space with trees and plants of every kind.
  • The trees provide a canopy of shade with dappled sunlight beaming through.
  • You see your favourite tree and walk over to it, sitting down and resting your back against it.  It is like an old friend who brings feelings of warmth, comfort, and safety.
  • Sitting here, you feel the gentle spots of sunlight that have slipped through between the leaves, gently resting on your skin.
  • Can you feel these small areas of heat?
  • Each of these spots of sunshine contains a smile for you.  A smile that radiates through your whole body.
  • Allow yourself to spend some time here.
  • Feeling rested, you decide to walk deeper into the garden
  • With each step you feel lighter, more at home
  • You become more aware of the scent of the flowers, the colours, the shapes.
  • You hear the birds singing clearer than you have ever heard before.
  • You hear a buzzing and look over to see a honey bee moving from flower to flower.  We often think about busy bees and how they move from plant to plant, working away.  And often we think of ourselves moving through life in the same way, creating aims/goals and struggling to achieve them.  But, look again at the bee.  It is not frantic.  It looks almost aimless as it goes about its work.  It meanders through life but still reaches its goal – it makes honey and honey makes it content………….happy.  The flowers, in themselves, are not goals.  There are points that the bee passes through to achieve its happiness.
  • You hear yourself.  You hear your positive, happy inner thoughts.  Each of these is a treasure to be held on to, to be nurtured.
  • Take your time to explore the garden, yourself and your thoughts.  Feel the energy entering your body, mind and spirit.  Enjoy!
  • It is time to leave your secret garden now.  But it is always here for you and always easy to reach.  Remember, just across the lawn, down the seven steps to the quieter terrace and then a short walk to the door that only has one key.  Your key.
  • You are now leaving the garden, shutting the door behind you, and slowly walking back up the seven stairs that will bring you back into this room.

As you come back into the room, I want you to bring some movement back into your hands and feet by wiggling your fingers and toes.  Then, slowly, open your eyes.

Stress at work

stress at workStress at work

Among the most common types of stress is good old-fashioned job stress, stress at work, and it is easy to understand why. With the economic slow-down of the last few years, employers are trying to squeeze more and more work out of their employees in order to keep the profits. Unfortunately, this is all too often the case with workers and people need to learn how to manage work stress. Otherwise, you will simply drown yourself in worry and drive yourself batty with concern over your workload and your job security.

The first thing to remember about job stress is that it really does not help you get work done. In fact, too much stress can actually prevent you from getting through your projects. Though every worker can point to a time when the chips were down and they rose to challenge, the fact is that long-term stress does not help people focus. Yes, short-term bursts of stress can heighten your ability to focus, but any period of stress that lasts longer than a day or even a few hours deteriorates your ability to focus. This is because the very hormones that heighten focus over a short period of time eventually degrade concentration and make you unable to keep your mind on the task at hand. Needless to say, this does not help you in the workplace.

One of the best ways to manage workplace stress is to take a break every so often. This means that you should give yourself a short break about every fifteen minutes or so and avail yourself of a break of a few minutes about every hour.
If you have the self-awareness to notice that you are not able to focus completely, you should give your eyes a break and take a quick stretch break in your chair. These breaks should be taken about every fifteen minutes, as they will allow your brain to recover a little bit of energy and allow you to return to the task at hand.

Additionally, every hour, stand up and walk away from your desk. This break should consist of some task not related to work or your desk and it is vital for maintaining concentration and reducing job stress. Go get a soft drink, take a restroom break, or simply walk the halls for about 3-5 minutes. This will not only give your body a break, it will provide your mind with an opportunity to relax. It is the simple act of doing something mindless that helps your mind. Just like muscles, the brain needs a rest and recovery period in order to get its strength back. Remember, you cannot remain completely focused forever, just like you cannot sprint forever.

If you do not take a break, your mind will start taking its own breaks. This is otherwise known as “having your mind wander.” This is a tremendously frustrating phenomenon and it can create severe job stress. You cannot focus, so you cannot get your work done, so you try to focus, which is causing your mind to wander simply because it has been focusing for so long. Thus, you become more frustrated with yourself and your stress increases. This is an endless spiral and, if you do not deliberately escape it, job stress will consume you until the only thing you can think about is your inability to think about anything other than your inability to get work done.
For those who are in the throes of job stress already and there does not seem to be any way to get out of it, it is time to give yourself a complete break. The best break is, of course, to go home and leave your work behind. However, this is not always feasible and, instead, you need some way to give yourself a break while not leaving your desk.

The best method for relieving job stress at your desk is to close your eyes and take deep breaths. The key to this is to avoid thinking about work while you are doing this breathing exercise. In fact, you should simply concentrate on your breathing. In essence, this is a form of meditation and it is a very good way to refresh your brainpower. This is because, when you are thinking about your breathing, you are thinking about almost nothing at all. After all, you breathe all the time and it comes pretty naturally. Thus, by concentrating on a process that is generally automatic, your mind will give itself a much-needed rest. In fact, some people are so effective at this form of meditation that they receive something akin to concentrated sleep. Though it takes a great deal of practice to achieve this much relaxation from meditation, even simple meditation can help you recover from job stress.

The most important thing to remember about job stress is to simply not worry about job stress. In fact, worrying about job stress will actually create a certain about of stress all its own. Thus, if you simply concentrate on your work, give yourself a break every so often, and give yourself a complete break when you need it, job stress does not need to be a concern.