Mind rushing? Thoughts racing at an Indy 500 clip? Then it’s time to give yourself and that brain of yours a time-out. Yep, some mental chill-laxing, intellectual down time … plain old space. Here’s a simple relaxation meditation to help you create spaciousness between you and the mental chatter – however ‘important’ it may seem.
This meditation has three simple parts: Inhale, Exhale, Silence. The great thing about it is that you can make it as short and sweet as 5 minutes, use it as your daily meditation practice, or apply it in a ‘pinch’ when you’re too stressed out, worried (or even if you’ve had too much caffeine :)) Here’s what you do …
- Get yourself physically comfortable enough to be undistracted by aches, pains or itches.
- Take one big, deep breath in, filling your lungs with air, then exhale quickly and completely.
- On the next inhale, imagine that the air itself contains whatever you need to relax your mind. Maybe you see this as white light. Maybe little butterflies or a cooling breeze. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it represents relaxation for your mind.
- After holding the inhalation for 2-3 seconds, begin slowly releasing the breath.
- Imagine that what you’re releasing is the mental chatter. Again you can visualize this as light, energy, spastic frogs, jumping dogs or a tumbling alphabet. It doesn’t matter, just let it go completely.
- Here’s where the fun starts! When you’ve completely emptied your body of air, take a few seconds to just be totally empty – of air, of thought or mental noise. Just BE for a few seconds before you start the cycle over.
- Repeat as long as you’d like.
Most people who try this catch their mind piping in after a few seconds, saying “hey! I’m being silent!” effectively ending the silence. If this happens to you, don’t worry – it’s normal. The trick with this kind of relaxation meditation – and all meditation, really – is that the more you do it, the longer those little silent ‘spaces’ become. Try it for awhile and you’ll see!
Do you have a meditation method that gives you mental space? Please share it with us in the comments below.