Is worry stopping you meditate? When your thoughts revolve around worries, you will physically tighten and tense your body, especially in certain key places like the throat, heart, solar plexus and the tummy. When the discomfort gets intense enough, you register it as an emotion, fear, perhaps, or anger or sadness. Meditation naturally relaxes your body while it focuses your mind.
You may not experience this natural relaxation for days or even weeks if you have only just begun to meditate, so it can be helpful to practice one of the following techniques to prepare for meditation.
Imagine taking a warm shower. As the water cascades across your body and down your legs, it carries with it all discomfort and distress, leaving you refreshed and invigorated.
Imagine a mound of warm honey perched on the crown of your head. As it melts, it runs down your face, head and neck, covering your shoulders, chest and arms, and gradually enveloping your whole body down to your toes. Feel the sensuous wave of warm liquid draining away all tension and stress and leaving you thoroughly relaxed and renewed.
Imagine a safe, protected, peaceful place — perhaps a forest, meadow or sandy beach. Experience the place fully with all your senses. Notice how calm and relaxed you feel here. Then allow that feeling to permeate every cell of your body.
Beginning with your head, let your mind scan your body from top to bottom. When you come to an area of tension or discomfort, gently allow it to soften before moving on.
Choose a word or brief phrase that has deep spiritual or personal significance for you. Now close your eyes and repeat this sound softly, again and again.
Because the meditation takes at least 15 minutes to complete, you probably won’t do it each time you meditate. But it does show you how to relax your body part by part. And by the way, deep relaxation is a great antidote for insomnia. Practice it in bed and then hopefully drift off to sleep!