I’ve been feeling sick all week – sore throat, fatigue, runny nose, congestion – which has been causing me to feel low energy and has been affecting my ability to think clearly. I’ve found myself caught in obsessive thought patterns for most of the week and have noticed an unusually high amount of negative self talk.
This book has been a wonderful blessing in that it’s provided me with the motivation (and tools) to start using meditation right away to try and change the way I’m feeling. I meditated three times the day before last, and today I’ve practiced for approximately 35-40 minutes in total. Once this morning for 11 minutes. Once again at the doctor’s office for about 5 minutes. And now again this afternoon for approximately 20-25 minutes.
Each time has helped in bringing my mind to a more peaceful place. The racing thoughts subside and each time, when I open my eyes, I am surprised to find that I am sitting in the place I’m sitting. It’s a bit difficult to explain that last part. I mean, I know where I’m sitting, but when I open my eyes after relaxing my body and mind, the area around me seems so normal size and it just doesn’t quite match up to what I’m expecting when I do finally open my eyes again.
Before this last meditation, I recorded myself running through a Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) exercise so that I could guide myself through the exercise before moving into a meditation. PMR is a relaxation technique in which you scan your body and take notice of the things you feel before moving through a process of contracting and then releasing different muscle groups from your feet all the way up to your head, in progressive movement.
The audio exercise I recorded is just over 18 minutes in length. By the end of going through the exercise, the anxiety I was feeling was greatly reduced and my focus had been shifted away from racing, negative thoughts and was re-directed into a desire to work on my writing.
I posted the PMR audio guide I created today if you’d like to check it out, and again, I highly recommend Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson’s book for anyone who is serious about beginning a meditation practice and would like some guidance on where to start and best practices.