Have you ever felt under attack by your own negative thoughts? In this week’s Insights episode, I talked about how meditation is the best form of self-defence from intrusive thoughts and how you can easily practice it.
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Topics Discussed in this Episode:
- The power of meditation and mindfulness
- Meditation as a form of self-defence
- Easy ways to meditate and breathing exercises you can try
- Meditation is the best form of self-defence there is. We are constantly attacked in our mind by the intrusive negative thoughts that we have.
- Meditation is probably the most powerful way I know of to alter your physiology. By that, I mean you can change your nervous system state from sympathetic: fight-flight-freeze, to parasympathetic: rest and digest. So it can take you from an agitated, stressed-out state to feeling calm pretty quickly.
- Meditation makes me more calm and reflective, and less reactive. You’ve got to sit there with your eyes closed, and keep your mind as clear as possible for 10 minutes. And for most of us, that’s a huge challenge.
- Meditation helps to build resilience – just by having the discipline to sit with your eyes shut and not thinking about anything – like how you might get from A to B later on, whether you might be able to squeeze something else in before that. And for that reason alone, I think meditation is very, very powerful.
- Meditation really does help you to calm down – particularly at times of heightened anxiety. If you can practice meditation when those intrusive thoughts or nerves come for you, you will notice the difference.
When Might You Meditate?
Here are some examples of stressful situations, where meditation might help to relieve your anxiety…
-You are about to give a speech, perhaps on a wedding day.
-You’re maybe learning something new and just nervous about entering into the unknown.
-Just leaving the house to go out and do a day’s work or walk down the road feels overwhelming.
Whether your anxiety level is low or high, practicing mindfulness is the best form of self-defence. These can be stressful events for you and open the floodgates for negativity to rush in, shooting through the mind; paralysing you. Using meditation as a way to combat those intrusive thoughts could be incredibly powerful for you.
Meditation as a Form of Self-Defence
- I also think that it has a lot to do with martial arts. My partner, for example, does Kung Fu. And she said meditating at the end of each session is a key part of that fighting discipline.
- It’s another way to think of meditation; as a way of arming yourself against yourself. In addition, against the negative pressures that could come in, whether through social media – or the media in general – or the people around you, but usually from us, ourselves.
- It’s really easy to get into meditation. You can just sit in a corner of the garden; corner of your room – anywhere you are uninterrupted – and meditate. It doesn’t always require an app or an expenditure.
- There are easy ways to get started, maybe start to sit there for two minutes and practice by letting the thoughts come and go. Then, make that five minutes. Then, maybe ten.
- I like to do a deep breathing exercise at the same time. That slow regular breathing works wonders with the nervous system. It can get you from that stressed, agitated state – even if you don’t feel particularly stressed or agitated – and quiet-down the nervous system. This will allow you to move into a more relaxed state. We call that “rest and digest”, and it’s the optimum state you want to be in most of the time.
- Find your quiet place with no interruptions or distractions.
- Close your eyes and meditate, try to clear your mind.
- Add some deep breathing exercises to maximise relaxation and give you something else to focus on.
“If you have not tried meditation and have preconceived ideas and notions of what it is all about, (It’s for yoga teachers, it’s for zen buddist monks) it isn’t. It is for everybody. There are huge figures in the business world who tribute a large part of their success to their ten plus years of meditation practice. So, it is for everyone. Give it a try.”
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