Me meditate?

So many of us suffer from stress and sleepless nights because our minds have spun out of control. In our fight with addiction we try to control, change and cure the addict and since this is an impossible battle to wage, let alone win, it is obvious how this causes the emotions that stand in the way of peacefulness and happiness such as fear, anger, frustration, jealousy, resentment. All of these emotions originate in our mind through our thinking. Meditation is a great tool to think right.

Many people tell me that they simply cannot stop thinking or that their minds are racing all the time. They are anxious and many have a very hard time falling asleep. This would happen to me too at times.

However, to work on our recovery effectively we need a still, quiet mind. It is not possible to calmly focus on recovery if the mind is constantly preoccupied.

So how do we go about this? I remember it seemed impossible to me not to think. I had experimented with meditation in my college years, but I considered it something for hippies, not for serious people, such as myself … (irony intended)

As I hit rock bottom in my relationship with my addicted partner and in my desperate search for solutions I came across some free, guided meditation audio files that I downloaded from the Internet.  That same night I started using them and after doing so I actually felt better. I continued using them and I started to find out more about meditation. This was years ago.  I now meditate twice on a daily basis (morning and evening) and sometimes more if I feel the need. Meditation helps me very much in keeping a still mind and has been a very important part of my recovery.

Meditation is not about staring at the flame of a candle or at a flower (although you could, it works too).  According to the dictionary meditation means, “to contemplate”.  And that is exactly what it is You can look at it as a way to deeply relax.

A very simple way to start meditating is by focusing on your breathing. Make sure you are in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, relax. Feel the air gently flowing in, and out of you. Take it easy and slowly. Relax your body consciously. Release the tension in your muscles.  Start with relaxing the muscles in your feet, then your calves. Take your time. Next your thighs, your belly, your back, your shoulders, your neck, your face. Be totally relaxed. Let the tension flow out of your system. As you are in this state of relaxation, you can relax even deeper by mentally counting down: 5, relax and as you count down relax even deeper, 4, deeper, 3, deeper, 2, 1. You are now in a very relaxed mental state of mind.

For some this sensation of relaxation can be quite amazing and surprising. It was for me.

There are hundreds of ways to meditate and after a while you find the way that suits you the best; the more you practice it, the quicker you can reach a peaceful and calm state of mind; sometimes within a few seconds.

A very useful and free website to learn about meditation is www.learn-to-meditate.com and there are many more. I wish for you to experience the same beneficial effects of meditation that I did. It has made a world of difference for me.

Have a great day (and meditation?),

Paulus

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