So, in my freshman year of college, I found myself being more stressed out than I ever had been before. I started having panic attacks, and my depression peaked to a level it had never been before. As a result, I studied up on a lot of mental wellness relaxation techniques and meditation to try and see if I could get better control of my head in times of turmoil. Now, I’m going to try and start doing it again, as a system of self-support in case I find myself in a situation where I can’t talk my problems out with someone else. I kinda wanted to share some basics of the system I’ve developed for myself with you!
Step One: Pre-Meditation
I’ve found that this is pivotal to getting in the right mindset and blocking out some of the depressing/stressing stuff that might be coming into your head. Pre-meditation is just something that is very relaxing to you. My pre-meditation usually consists of either a bubble bath, some relaxing string/flute music, or performing some sort of repetitive task, like making note cards or drawing simple shapes. Whatever works for you!
Step Two: Get Zoned In
Okay, this is where the actual meditation comes in. Get into some comfortable clothes, I usually rock some sweat pants with no shirt, but whatever you feel the most comfortable in. I also usually make some sort of berry tea at this point, as well, with some sugar and honey in it. Get the room that you’re going to be in as comfortable as possible. Maybe set up a yoga mat, or sit down on a cushioned area somewhere.
Step Three: The stereotypical meditation part
Yeah, I’m one of those people who crosses his legs when she meditates. If that’s not comfortable for you though, just do what feels natural to be sitting instead. I’d advise against fetal position, because that’s naturally the position I go to when I’m bummed, and that’s no good, but hey, I’m not the meditation police here. Next, you’re going to want to take a few sets of what I call “7 breaths.” That means seven seconds of inhaling, seven seconds to hold that air in your lungs, seven seconds of exhaling, and then seven seconds to let your lungs remain empty. This slows your body down a bit, signaling that it’s time to relax. When this becomes a normal pattern of breathing for you, move on to the next step.
Step Four: The Fun Part
Okay, this is my favorite part of the whole experience. Shut your eyes, and put your index finger and thumbs together on both hands. Then, touch the tips of these four fingers together, like you were holding a tiny ball of string. Then, slowly pull the string outwards, like you’re stretching it. Then bring your fingers back together and do it again. Keep at it! Believe it or not, this repetitive motion serves (at least for me) as what most yoga instructors and mental wellness experts call an “om,” or a mantra. It’s just something to concentrate on, to distract from any other fidgeting that may throw you off. Now, as pull your fingers apart, begin to imagine your favorite place on this planet. It could be a spot where you vacationed once, or a picture you saw, or a fictional universe from a book you really like. It doesn’t matter, just so long as being in this place makes you relax. Take mental notes: What about this place is relaxing to you? Is it the climate here? What about the visuals? Is there water? Mountains? Valleys? Trees? Slowly, you can begin to reinvent this place as your own. It’s your happy place c: Mine usually includes a hot spring with a hot spring waterfall, and snow covered trees~
Step Five: Bring It With You!
Okay, so focus on this place for a while. Let your mind be at rest, except for this place you’ve created. Try and associate it with bringing your fingers together, because after you’re done meditating, the next time you find yourself in an overwhelming, stressful situation, you can start pulling on your string again, and bring yourself to that awesome place.
I hope these steps help you guys the way they’ve helped me in the past year! I hope to continue developing my mental wellness through meditation, and I hope you do too <3
Have a great evening, and a relaxing meditation session!