Our mind develops habits, and these habits can make us tense, uptight or cause pain and anxiety.
Whatever difficulties we have in life it can be hard sometimes not to feel overwhelmed and with an anxious mind, solutions seem hard to find.
In meditation we can use the breath to create some space in our mind , in this space the mind can find peace and calm.
It can create space for us to be both peaceful and look at the situation from a different place, taking control of our mind and thoughts to serve us positively.
Here are some short meditations that we hope you may find useful – based on Buddhist meditation.
- Relax , sit comfortably and accept that for these few minutes you are spending time on mediation ( I usually set my timer for 10-15 mins on my phone)
- Concentrate and just follow your breath in and out your body. Follow it, listen to it and notice where it is the strongest.
- Now, as you breathe out imagine black smoke – that is all your worries, concerns and negative thoughts – let them go as you breathe out, see the black smoke leave your body.
- As you breathe in, breathe in a white light – this is joy, health, contentment. See the light fill your mind and your body. Fill it with what you desire.
- Practice this for at least 5 mins if you can. When your mind gets distracted go back to following your breath for a few moments and let any thoughts dissolve.
- Find a quiet place to sit where you can be both relaxed but alert, rest your eyes …
- Begin to focus on the breath – follow the breath in and out the body
- Notice the strength of the breath ….the sound of it , where it goes in the body…. Continue for a few minutes.
- Gradually we are going to slightly change the breath ….As we breathe in, focus and feel it around the heart.. pause it there for a second – as it touches our heart centre , then breath out. Repeat a few times.
- We are going to use a mantra today : “Om Ah Hum” …..we say “Om” as we breathe in, “Ah” as we pause the breath at the heart and “Hum” as we breathe out …Repeat for a few mins.
- If you loose concentration focus on the breath going in and out the body…
Om Ah Hum is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist mantra used to purify the mind, speech, and heart. This guided practice lets you quiet the thinking mind and go beyond it using a silent mantra meditation. This is an excellent daily exercise – be it morning or evening.
You can also practice calming techniques with your child/ren.
When children (and indeed everyone) gets angry they can get what’s called ‘emotionally flooded’. This means all rational thought disappears and is replaced with a rush of strong emotional feelings (such as frustration or anger).
As the brain floods it passes the ears so makes it difficult to listen and reason. We need to support our children to calm down and having a friendly chat or just telling them to ‘calm down’ is probably not going to work at this point – if you’ve ever tried to reason with a child who is in the middle of a tantrum you’ll know what I mean!
Breathing slowly, counting to 10, blowing real or imaginary bubbles, laying down with a teddy on their chest and watching it rise and fall, sitting like a frog, giving yourself a hug are all strategies which will help calm the child, the brain and the situation.
It is a good idea to show your child and practice these strategies before the next outburst when they are calm and will listen and in a better place to understand what you mean.
You and they can then be ready when they are feeling emotionally flooded and you can remind them to blow the bubbles or watch teddy etc. Remember too that children often feel scared and confused after a tantrum or emotionally flooded moment so as soon as they have calmed down be ready to ‘catch them being good’ (however small) and reassure and encourage them positively.
You might also like:
Top tips for keeping calm with the children at home
A to Z of Parenting