Meditation is often the best form of recovery.
I meditate every single day. You should too.
Some days, I can only get 5 minutes in here and there, and others I can let it wash over me for over a half hour at a time. My goal is to get to one hour before getting the feeling that I am done. Sounds like a lot, I know, but it often flies by in the moment.
I trust my body as it sinks into meditation, and recognize when I am finished versus just being uncomfortable. When I feel uncomfortable I try to get to the bottom of why. What is it that I need to release but is not wanting to be uncovered, worked on, let go.
It is not always easy. Some days are as awkward as laughing in the middle of a eulogy. The point is not for it to be easy. It is to stick with it when it feels hard, or brings out emotions, or leaves you just feeling nothing. Meditation is not to be mastered, hence it being a "practice". It is to master yourself, your thoughts, emotions, what comes up in your practice, each time you attempt it. Your thoughts are unique, your feelings ever evolving. Being compassionate toward yourself in your practice, being open to your own changes and challenges, being patient with what it is to you each time is where the magic really happens.
Meditation is not the absence of thought. It is not a brute force focus. Rather, it is allowing your brain to do what it does and to release your negativity towards it. When you allow the thoughts to come and then let them go, your awareness of those different parts of your life becomes a little bit easier. Really feeling your own presence, your weight against the chair, the passing sounds, the sensations in your body begin to settle you. From there, I often visualize my brain as an empty bright room, when thoughts knock at the door (or often just come barging in) I acknowledge them, they cannot be stopped. However, at that moment I then choose whether they can stay because it is something I need to work on, or shew them on their way and refocus back to MY room.
When I taught yoga, I would use the last few minutes, as with most classes, to regroup, unwind, relax the body. In corpse pose, I would talk my class through relaxing from the crown of their head down to the tip of their toes. My voice slowed helping their breath to match the rhythm. I would remind them to come back to their breath just as do for myself when unwanted thoughts came in. After a few classes, I would always have people come up to me thanking me, telling me how the time to be quiet and relax in a safe environment helped them in so many other areas of their life.
Meditation is not something that gets easier and easier until you can just sit for hours with nothing on your mind, well maybe for monks... I would need to chat with one to know for sure. But, my guess is that it is not the absence of thought for them either. Meditation is the active awareness of ourselves. Part of all of us is our thoughts and feelings. Often some of the best recovery for my battered heart, or a tired mama conscious, an overworked body, I have found in my meditation.
If you do not meditate, I would encourage you to start. It does not have to be anything crazy like jumping into a retreat with gurus and yogis. (Although that could be a super rad experience.) Simply, take 3-5 minutes this evening. I like to call my night time routine my "brain dump". It is my active release of the day so that I can let go and really rest. There are tons of apps and youtube videos that can help you lead a successful meditation. I personally use Headspace, most often, they even have a great selection for free. I also like the album by Marconi Union which has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
Self-love goes hand-in-hand with self-care. You deserve a few minutes to work on your mental health and clarity. Listen for your answers.
As always, if you have any thoughts you would like to share or if you want to work together - shoot me a message anytime!