Hello and welcome to Motivation and Mindset Mondays! Today, let’s talk about simplifying your meditation practice and getting better results with 15 different strategies. If you’re having difficulty meditating, you may be pushing yourself too hard. You’ll often get better results by learning to lighten up. These are some techniques for relaxing both your body and mind while meditating.
How To Relax Your Body
1. Sit where you feel comfortable.
Meditating can take place on a chair as well as a cushion. Find a position that you can hold comfortably. Practice good posture by straightening your back and lowering your shoulders. If you use a chair, plant both of your feet firmly on the ground.
2. Walk around.
If sitting for long periods causes you unease, you can start out with a walking meditation. You may also want to alternate between sitting and walking until sitting becomes more tolerable.
3. Change your position.
Feel free to adjust any body part that starts to bother you. If your foot falls asleep, give it a good shake.
4. Dress comfortably.
Select clothing that will let you move and breathe. That usually means loose fitting garments with elastic waist bands. Dressing in layers is also smart so you can quickly adapt to chilly or hot rooms.
5. Eat light.
Stick to foods that you can digest easily like yogurt drinks or green salads. Small frequent snacks will leave you feeling more alert than consuming heavy meals.
6. Practice yoga.
Yoga is one of the best conditioning programs for seated meditation. You can study simple poses on your own or sign up for free classes in most communities.
7. Work up to a full lotus.
There are some advantages to sitting in the full lotus position, but you can benefit from meditation whatever your capabilities. If you want to advance to the traditional posture, targeted stretches and sitting in a half lotus are good intermediate steps.
How To Relax Your Mind
1. Let go of the outside world.
Give your full attention to your meditation practice. Leave distracting thoughts behind until later.
2. Banish expectations.
Look forward to whatever happens at each meditation session. Find meaning in the process instead of stewing over the outcomes.
3. Expect fluctuations.
Your powers of concentration will be stronger on some days than others. Go with the ebb and flow.
4. Bring your attention back.
Everyone experiences their mind wandering off sometimes. Accept it as natural. Devote your energies to spotting the issue and returning your attention to the present moment.
5. Observe without judging.
Regard your passing thoughts with curiosity rather than labeling them as good or bad. Accept whatever situation you currently find yourself in and resolve to start from there.
6. Learn from every session.
Take satisfaction in knowing that each session will teach you something about yourself and where you want to go. If you learn a single new thing, the time was well spent.
7. Switch to reading.
Some days you may feel jet lagged or keyed up about something, like your annual performance review, for example. It’s okay to read an inspirational passage during your usual meditation time when you’re going through a hectic period.
8. Plan ahead.
While you want to give yourself an adequate degree of flexibility, it can also be helpful to provide some structure so you avoid feeling at loose ends. You may want to pick a topic in advance that you plan to meditate on or designate a certain time period for how long you plan to sit.
Meditation is important, but it works best when you take a light hearted approach. Free your body and mind from needless tensions. You’ll develop a more stable sense of peace that will carry over into all your daily activities.
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because I wanted to share some lifestyle-based strategies to improve your overall mindset and mental health, which in turn improves your life. You must do the internal work to improve your overall health. You can do this by learning what motivates you and working each day on improving your mindset. Your thoughts control your feelings, which controls your behavior. You can cultivate certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
If you are familiar with my approach, I use functional medicine and lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle modifications, such as stress reduction and mindfulness exercises, can help you feel better about yourself and your life. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Is Dietary Supplementation Right For You?
Did you know that what you eat can have a significant impact on your mood and mindset? A poor diet can lead to decreased energy levels, low moods, and even depression. Conversely, a healthy diet can improve your mood, help you feel more energetic, and boost your overall sense of well-being.
For some people, vitamin and mineral supplements offer important health benefits. Supplements are designed to fight deficiencies found in our diet and complement the food we eat regularly. Supplements are basically “helping hands” to our daily food.
When stress, anxiety, and depression creep in, it can be difficult to stay motivated and keep your head in the game. Fortunately, dietary supplementation can help. Certain vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural ingredients have been shown to improve moods and reduce stress levels. For example, B vitamins (such as B6 and B12) are essential for maintaining healthy brain function and producing energy. Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil supplements, are known to reduce stress hormones and promote relaxation. Magnesium is also important for mental health – it helps regulate stress hormones, reduce anxiety levels and improve quality of sleep.
In addition to these supplements, there are also a number of herbal remedies that can help with stress management. Herbs such as lavender, chamomile and passionflower can be helpful for calming the body and reducing stress levels. Valerian root is another popular stress-relieving herb – it helps to relax the mind and promote restful sleep.
Ultimately, dietary supplementation can play an important role in improving your mindset and mood. If you’re feeling stressed or down, consider adding some of these supplements to your daily routine! They may just be the key to unlocking your mental wellbeing.
So… if you are unable to eat better and need supplementation, the supplements in my Mindset and Mood Support Bundle may provide the extra boost you need.
These are my favorite Mood Support Supplements to use! This Mindset and Mood Support Bundle will ensure you have the intake of the important vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to decrease inflammation and boost your innate wellness day and night. Taken together, it’s a solid plan for increasing your body’s natural resiliency while you improve your sleep, decrease your stress, and improve your mental clarity, naturally.
Tools For Motivation And Mindset
Although you don’t need a cushion to meditate, you may want to consider using one at some point. You could meditate in a chair, or simply sit on the floor if you want. You can also use pillows or cushions from your furnishings to try out. Cushion, chair, bench, floor – it’s all good. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting upright on a chair, you’ll probably do well to buy a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will support your sitting posture and help you create an appealing mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. I recommend this meditation cushion and mat bundle.
If you struggle with stress, depression, or anxiety, keeping a journal can be a great idea. Even if you don’t have these conditions, journaling can enhance your life in many ways. Having difficulty processing your thoughts and emotions? Journaling can help clear that mental clutter and move towards a positive mindset. Research suggests that keeping a journal can have positive impacts on both mental and physical health. So, to start you on your journey, I recommend this self care journal.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, meditation and mindfulness, as well as healthy and supportive relationships are the best ways to support mental health. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
PPS. If you or someone you know is experiencing severe stress, anxiety, depression and/or other mental health issues, please contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
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