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Gratitude…Antidote to Stress and Anxiety

Gratitude: Simple Things Become Extraordinary!

by Michael Gusack

Good Day (or evening) !

When you are distressed and anxious and upset with your current situation, you often hear that you need to  “count your blessings”. That is supposed to ease your concerns. Today, for a moment, consider this.

Gratitude can perhaps best be cultivated when you appreciate the simple things in life. The ordinary things. These are the things…or people…you normally take for granted:

* A bed to sleep in
* The ability to breathe in a breath of fresh air…your lungs, your mouth, your nose
* A car to drive so you don’t have to walk long distances
* The Earth your feet can touch…Thank You!
* Breakfast…Yes!
* Your children…especially the one who drives you crazy:-)
* Your life partner…Eckhart Tolle says “Relationships are not there to make us happy. They are there to make us conscious.” So many opportunities:-)
* Being conscious (while awake…no sleep walking:-)
* Sleep…Ahhh!
* Eyesight
* Your heart…what an amazing machine
* Hearing…my hearing aids help me appreciate what hearing I have
* A cool breeze

And so on. And if you are lacking something on the above list, then, certainly, the idea is to appreciate what you DO have in the interest of balance and perspective.

Here’s a practice I learned years ago as a walking meditation:

1. As you walk with each left or right step in sequence repeat 3 times
Thank You!, Thank You!, Thank You! (appreciation to the Earth for being there for your feet to touch…or, of course anything or anyone you appreciate for which your are grateful).

2. Then, as you step repeat 3 times
Yes! Yes! Yes! (appreciation to Life (GOD) for sustaining each step, each breath)

You can just as easily practice while you walk in circles in your living room as in your neighborhood or on the street or sidewalk or trail.

When you no longer take your life for granted, each moment is miraculous. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. Each moment is a gift. If you embrace all that you take for granted, it definitely takes the edge off your stress level, your anxiety, your upset.

And it’s best to practice this when “you don’t need to”…because you actually always need to. Best to be conscious of how precious are friends, family, health and peace (in any moment we have it).

Be Well,
Mike

Marriage of Service & Joy

“I slept and dreamt…”

Smaller Tagore

 

And this dream then leads  you where???  To live a life of service is to live life to it’s fullest.

As you take on responsibility for taking good care of your brothers and sisters…the family of man,

you find that you are also taking good care of yourself. Your compassion becomes the door to

a life that is complete and there’s the joy in it. This is not self denial. As it turns out this is how

you can best serve your own interests as well because they are no longer separate from others.

 

Comments are welcomed. Let’s engage.

Beginner Meditation Tips

Here’s Some Basics…Valuable For All Levels of Experience

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Getting past the unfamiliar is often key to any skill requiring practice. And meditation is a skill that gets easier over time with practice.

It helps to have a sense of what some of the basics are so that you have some confidence that you are proceeding in a useful and effective manner. Being comfortable, in a quiet place without interruption, and staying alert are all helpful.

If you have to lay down due to physical discomfort or medical problems, sometimes keeping eyes open, but softly focused will help distinguish your practice from sleep.

Beach Meditation

Try these different approaches and you will begin to get a sense of your preferences.

Meditation is an energy healing art that has great health benefits. Meditation is great for relaxing the mind, body, and spirit. In addition to boosting immunity to fight off harmful microorganisms, many studies have shown that meditation, mindfulness, and deep relaxation can reduce stress, improve cognitive focus, and affect emotions in positive ways.

How to meditate for beginners

Many beginners of meditation often experience a lot of noise in their head, making it hard for them to clear and calm their mind. This experience is very common and is not too hard to fix. Meditation is about relaxing the mind, focusing on the breath, and becoming a conscious observer of the breathing cycle as each breath gently flows in and out of the body to achieve a deeply relaxed state.

The meditation tips for beginners below will help you clear your mind, making it easier for you to achieve a deeply relaxed state of mind.

Meditation tips for beginners #1: Scan your body

Your mind is always thinking and being distracted by all sorts of messages, so clearing and relaxing your mind can be a huge challenge. One trick to shed the mental side-talk is to scan your body in unison with your breath.

Start by focusing your attention on your toes and silently telling them to relax. Then, repeat this process until you have scanned every part of your body from your legs and abdomen to your fingers, arms, heart, and head. By the time you get through giving attention to your entire body, you will be surprised to find how relaxed you are.

Meditation tips for beginners #2: Peaceful music

The vibration and sound of peaceful music can help relax your mind, making it easier for you to achieve a meditative state. The trick is to select music that is soothing and dreamy and preferably something without words. If you prefer having words in the peaceful music, words with soft and soothing tones are recommended.

Also, the volume should be low enough that it is not all-consuming but more in the backdrop of things. Furthermore, make sure that the music does not end or change significantly while you are still meditating.

Meditation tips for beginners #3: Imagery

When you see or think of an alarming image, your body is flooded with the stress hormone, cortisol, and becomes alert and on edge. The flip side of this phenomenon is that by focusing on calming and peaceful images, your body can tap into your inner stillness, thereby setting you up for relaxation and meditation. These types of images are very powerful for harmonizing the energy of the mind and body.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to meditation, so the more you do it, the more it will become easier to transition into a meditative state of awareness. Also, try to meditate on a regular basis so that your body becomes use to it. One thing you should always do before meditating is to make sure you are comfortable. If you are not comfortable, you are making it much harder to relax your mind to a state of inner peace.

Read the full article including 2 more tips and references here.