I am really horrible at meditation and mindfulness, like 30 secs in and I am making my grocery list. As an OT who has worked with individuals with brain injury, chronic pain, and other chronic illness, I know how life changing mindfulness has been to my patients, and yet, I find I have trouble incorporating it into my everyday life. Below are some options for meditation that I have tried and what has worked for me and what has not.
Guided imagery – This is a method of listening to a recording of a guided meditation and imagining what the presenter/speaker is saying. This is a great way if you have never ever tried meditation to help with a variety of issues, headaches, stress, sleep, general health, etc. There are many podcasts that are free on iTunes that will take you through some of these exercises. One of my favorites and one that I have used with my patients, (not free) is Dr. Emmett Miller, MD. He and his company have great, directed ( and for whatever reason or ailment) meditations. Feel free to Google his name and you will get a wealth of information on him and his products. Here is his website DrMiller.com . His information is also available on iTunes.
Breath work – there are a lot of different options here, and can be as simple as three part breathing, to belly breathing to just breath awareness. This work I LOVE, when I am with a yoga/mindfulness instructor and have good guidance. But suffice it to say, I stink at doing this independently. I find my mind wanders way, way to fast. Left to my own devices, my brain happily trails off to all the things I need to do and my breath work goes out the door!!
Finally that brings me to the most effective tool I have ever found for meditation. The EmWave device. This little device is a phenomenal way to learn how to meditate, and really is a biofeedback system. This allows you to learn what your body feels like when it is in it’s best state and teaches you how to get to that place every time!!! Find out how the EmWave products came to be, the science behind them and how easy they are to use here: heartmath.com . The product we use in our house is: EmWave Inner Balance. This program has a downloadable app with a heart rate monitor that plugs into your iPhone or android phone. It’s a simple and easy way to get effective biofeedback and retrain your system.
And since I have now given some ideas for you to start with meditation, I am going to challenge myself to a 7 Day EmWave Challenge, and see what changes unfold in my life. I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Leave a comment below if there is a type of meditation or mindfulness that you have used that has been helpful.