Lots of us will be feeling the need to detox our bodies in some way after the festive season…perhaps planning a “dry” January after one too many Christmas cocktails or planning to get off the sofa and blow away the Christmas cobwebs with lots of walks or maybe even a run in the fresh air.
It’s also a great time to detox the mind, rid yourself of stress and get focused on the year ahead. A healthy body rarely happens without a healthy mind and in my opinion, as a hypnotherapist, the mind is the starting point for any changes you want to make in your life, body, soul. To change your external environment, you have to cultivate your internal one and then you can move forwards with clearer vision and focus.
I run a number of Meditation classes in St Helens; each week we look at a different aspect of Meditation and how we can incorporate it into our own practice and find ways to make mindfulness a part of everyday life. For example we may look at the Law of Attraction, the power and the importance of the positive thinking mind and how to use Meditation to become more aware of how we are feeling and to take control over our own emotions.
In another session we may get a little more spiritual, learning how to incorporate Mantras and affirmations into our practice, utilizing Buddhist traditions such as Mala and using sound Meditations such as Om or the Hare Krishna.
Every week there is a guided Meditation so you are guaranteed a relaxation to refresh and rebalance your mind although I actively encourage students to practice a little mindfulness every day. As with exercise, a good session will have fantastic benefits, but daily activity will up your fitness levels to a much greater standard. As will regular Meditation improve, focus, mood, general wellbeing as well as being clinically proven to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and speed up recovery from physical illness.
We spend so much of our time caught up in regret or guilt from the past or feeling anxiety or uncertainty about the future that we so often miss the beauty and peacefulness of the present moment.
Meditation encourages us to look within, feel the benefit of true relaxation.
If you are unable to get to a class there are many ways of incorporating Meditation into your world.
A lot of my clients have downloaded the Headspace “Take Ten” app which I very much recommend. The fantastic Andy Puddicombe is a wonderful Meditation teacher and the ethos of the app is to get into the habit of taking a short time every day to notice your inner thoughts, feelings, be aware of them and also just temporarily release them to focus on simply being.
Meditation can be done almost anywhere – people think they need a Yoga mat and scented candles but it isn’t the case…jogging is often referred to as “moving meditation” for example. You are aware of your breath and as you move into your stride you can really blow away stresses and unwanted thoughts – it’s particularly effective when outside in the fresh air and then you can spend time noticing the beauty in the trees, the flowers, even everyday life as it passes you by and you feel so much more a part of the world and connected to both it and yourself.
If you aren’t up for a run, walking is fine; take yourself to a green space, walk in the park, in the woods, anywhere where you are more connected to nature. Wayne Dyer often refers to “the wilderness as therapy” and it is very true…when you stay stuck indoors at home or the office it’s all too easy to be caught up in the stress of other people and unwanted thoughts so take yourself outside for even 20 minutes of mind therapy.
Incorporate a little mindfulness into your everyday routine.
I regularly attend Spinning classes at my local gym – I love the buzz of working out and burning away calories – especially at this time but with a mixture of a hardworking, strict instructor and his terrible choice in music it can sometimes feel as though I am pushing myself too hard…of late have started to find this the perfect time to indulge in a little mantra meditation – internally repeating in my mind over and over something which I would like to absorb into my consciousness – sometimes if I feel as though I am about to give up, get off the bike and head for the sauna it could be something as simple as “my body is fit and capable!” The time passes so much more quickly and exercise becomes easier as a result.
Take a bath…the perfect space for mindfulness…. Be a bit of a hippy and choose a crystal such as clear quartz or amethyst…add it to the bath for its detoxing properties and as an aid to Meditation and add some rock salt to the water to draw out impurities. Light a candle and focus on the flame, which will give you a focal point and enable you to more quickly push out unwanted thoughts and deepen your relaxation.
Meditate whilst doing the washing up! Perfect time – look out of the kitchen window and notice your surroundings, practice mindfulness by really feeling the water on your fingers, the plates and cups.Thich Nhat Hahn says that too often we rush the action of washing the dishes solely to get to the end result and to then perhaps reward ourselves with a relaxing cup of tea. Yet when we sit down to drink the tea, we do so without any sense of enjoyment as we have already moved our attention onto the next thing.When we focus more on what we are doing, the task in hand and therefore the present moment, we often discover more of an interest in it and therefore an increased sense of achievement when we complete it…even something as mundane as the washing up..If we can make that a practice of mindfulness, hasn’t that already become more exciting?!
Gratitude….For me, no Meditation practice can reward us fully until we incorporate a little gratitude somewhere into our lives. Becoming aware of all that is good in our lives is a way of cultivating positive feelings of well-being within. Practising gratitude is a way of connecting with people or events that have influences us in a positive way.Try bringing to mind a person to whom you feel gratitude towards. Perhaps they have done something specific for you or supported you. Picture this person and, imagining your heart opening, send them wishes of kindness and thanks as you acknowledge your gratitude for their presence in your life. Keep a gratitude journal and each night jot down a short list of anything or anyone you feel grateful for that day. Keep it simple and specific – this can be a very powerful practice that connects us to the many small things in life which we can be grateful for.
Cleansing the body with breath. This simple practice is a form of body scanning where you can learn to focus on and direct breathe into and around the body as well as purposefully tuning into a wider awareness of yourself…
Take your attention to the breath and focus on the part of your body where you feel it most strongly – perhaps the tummy or the chest or around your mouth or nostrils and just stay for a few moments with the experience of your breath…breathing in and breathing out…imagining each time you breathe in that you are breathing in a sense of relaxation and calm, and on the exhale releasing any tensions or stress. Now, taking your attention to the breath, just imagine it sweeping through the body, filling the body with breath and breathing out through the soles of your feet. Continue for a few minutes, “sweeping” the body with breath and cleansing it of tension or stress.
Hope this has been helpful…there is more information on my Meditation classes under the Events and Training sections of the website or you can contact me on 07889 069545 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.