Christine Hickey, Esq. 120 East Washington Street, Suite 711, Syracuse, New York 13202 (315) 422-9756
Meditation During the Divorce Process
Many people find it difficult to buy into the concept of meditation. Just like other disciplines, there are extremes to meditation and these extremes are often met with criticism and hast. There is a reason meditation is a part of life around the world and has been practiced for thousands of years. It is very simple, but can work wonders. Meditation truly helps quiet the mind and calm the spirit. You can try it with a friend or alone. Meditation can be each day for ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night or for one minute each hour you are awake. Try it each day for one week, and if at the end of the week you still do not feel the benefits, then that is fine. There is nothing for you to lose here.
The purpose of meditation is to train your mind to learn how to control emotions and thoughts. If you are upset, angry, feeling anxiety, you are unable to concentrate or unable to sleep, learning how to meditate can help you control these frustrating situations. Just like any type of discipline, controlling the mind takes practice, which is meditation. The goal is to train yourself to be able to calm your mind and thoughts at any point in the day and during any situation (i.e. during a stressful time at work, when the kids are screaming, or when you are feeling lost during these troubled times).
Meditation has been proven to help with anxiety. It teaches a person how to be present and to eliminate all other thoughts in order to think clearly. It sounds simple, but it is a difficult art to master if you do not practice and consciously try to clear your mind.
Ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes at night before bed. The morning will help prepare for the day and the night will calm you in order to sleep. You want to do the meditation at the same times each day as to create a routine. Set a timer for the 10 minutes of meditation. You do not want your mind concentrating on or wrapped up in how much time is left. The timer allows for less distraction and you will be better able to clear your mind.
Another option is to meditate for one minute for each hour you are awake or every other hour. Be in tune with your body and take notice of when you need a minute meditation. The philosophy behind the one minute meditation is to help calm you throughout the day. Set a timer for one minute and do not go beyond that time frame. Find a quiet spot, sit in a comfortable position and concentrate on your breathing.
The breathing allows for a person to get in touch with their body and control their body, since the two are connected, this will then help you control the mind. The breathing exercise can be used in all situations and is very important for calming yourself when your anxiety is on the rise or your mind begins to race.
For extended meditations, you want to find a quiet, calming place where you will feel comfortable. At first begin in your bedroom. Turn off the lights and light a candle. As you become more experienced, you can then move to different settings. Go outside, to a park bench or near water. The goal is to finally be able tap into the calmness of mind from meditation in any setting and at any point in time.
For the one minute meditation, the setting will be less in your control. The goal is to find the most calming spot you can. At your desk, outside for some fresh air or in the bathroom are all places you can meditate while at work.
Be comfortable, but not so much that you fall asleep. Sit legs uncrossed if at your desk or crossed legged if you are not in a chair, with your posture straightened. You want the crown of your head aligned with your tailbone. Ease all of your muscles, including the muscle at your jaw. Allow your arms to go limp at your side.
Take calming oil and rub some on your temples and into your palms. Place one candle directly in front of you, with other candles around the room with the lights off. Find calming nature music or whatever noises may calm you, classical music works for me.
Paying attention to and learning how to control your breathing is the most important part of meditation. You want to create a rhythmic breathing. Start off by simply paying attention to each breath and pay attention only to your breathing. Breathe in slowly, easily, evenly, deeply, and very slowly. Then breathe out slowly, easily, evenly, deeply, and very slowly. As you begin, close your eyes and concentrate solely on your breathing. Feel it go throughout your body. Feel the breath relieve the areas of tension. Be aware of the depth and length of each breath. Let your chest move upward on inhalation and downward on exhalation.
Once you feel that you have tapped into your breathing, open your eyes. Choose one object to focus your concentration on. The flame of the candle in front of you would be a good focal point. You want to only think about that single item. Watch the object of choice, lighten your gaze, so that all other items in the room become out of focus. Pay attention to every detail of the item, if it is a flame, watch it’s every move, pay attention to the change in color. Once you are able to move to other settings, pay attention to every single detail of the item of choice, so that nothing else enters your mind except thoughts of that object directly in front of you. Don’t allow your mind to think about anything else except the physical details your eyes are looking at.
Clear your mind and make a conscious effort to think of nothing but the object. Release all thoughts, good and bad. Make a conscious effort.
The purpose of learning how to detach your thoughts this way is simply a practice to control your mind. Eventually you will be able to clear your mind completely without focus on a single object. In any situation, if you can clear your mind, a clear mind is better able to make rational decisions, see the big picture, and tap into all other senses and knowledge.
If you are having trouble calming yourself, try thinking of a setting that would usually calm your mind, either looking at the stars, watching the waves crash, a tree with its leaves moving in the wind, playing with your kids, or any other activity that calms you. Choose whatever setting will work for you.
Another option is to think of one calming phrase and say it over and over again. “It is what it is”, “I can be calm”, “My happiness is in my control”, pick a short phrase that will calm you and say it over and over again.
Also, and always, tune into your breathing (see how to do this above in the breathing section).
If your mind begins to wander, be aware that this is happening, quickly make a mental note of what thoughts your mind is wandering to, and then bring yourself back by one of the above calming steps. Go back to the state where your eyes are closed to focus on your breathing, or focus on the chosen object.
When there are things that keep distracting you, remind yourself that there is nothing that can be done now, that this is your time to be at ease. Be present and calm.
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