By Julia Datt
Nowadays, you can’t flick through a fashion mag without hearing about meditation. But is it REALLY something that’s useful and applicable to you as a young woman in this day and age? We look at meditation techniques and how they can help you conquer your world (or at the very least, make a start).
No longer simply the avenue of hippies and lunatics, studies have shown that a little bit of time to yourself each day helps equip you to better cope with emotions, anxiety and stress. The pressure women feel to look a certain way, be the perfect sister/girlfriend/employee or to just plain simply be taken seriously as a woman in today’s world is endless.
How does this affect us at a mental level?
Well, the mind has been trained to react instantly to sensations, whether they’re good (such as a feeling of joy when you’ve achieved a goal) or bad (not achieving the goal). We tend to respond to such situations with the appropriate emotion, and even conjure up these situations in our minds when we don’t know the outcome. This creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. As an adult, your mum’s warnings of ‘worrying won’t change anything’ finally ring true after all those years!
When we start daydreaming about past or future situations that are good, we create feelings of craving, which generates disappointment and discontentment. We attach ourselves to an idea, or desire and if it’s not fulfilled we feel empty and let down.
Similarly, when we conjure up bad situations in our head that have either happened or not happened yet, you’re evoking feelings of tension and your mood is ruined, which means your performance as an employee, sports person or friend declines – all due to the thoughts in your head!
How do we combat this? Establish a daily meditation practice (don’t worry, you don’t have to sit cross-legged chanting ‘ohm, ohm’) where you allow yourself 10-20 minutes of quiet, alone time to connect with yourself.
Find a peaceful corner of the house where you can regularly do this – either in the morning before school or at night before bed. A big comfy cushion helps to settle you and scented candles also help you relax. Shut your eyes and listen to your breathing. Be aware of every breath that flows in and out of your body. It sounds too simple to effective, but this is a medically proven practice to calm your nerves and reduce stress.
Another technique is to visualise positive situations, such as you successfully negotiating and winning a pay rise or simply just killing it at boot camp this week and making it to every session. The more you visualise it, the more signals you send to the universe to make it happen. That’s where the power of positive thinking comes in!
The trick is to not grow attached to these imaginary situations, whether good or bad. Understand that everything works in ebbs and flows: what goes up must come down. Staying balanced and detached through each situation will ensure you’ll never be a slave to your emotions again.
Of course, it’s not something which happens overnight – meditation is a lifelong practice, that if followed, allows for inner contentment and peace – so not even toxic school/office environments (or the mother-in-law) can get to you!
I’d love to hear how you guys go – keep me updated!
This Model Eats A Lot xx
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