I am the type of person whose brain works over time. It is constantly trying to overthink, analyse and stress about 100 different things simultaneously. This has made it difficult to concentrate on individual tasks without having my thoughts trail off.
As young adults, this is a common annoyance we suffer with. We are faced with the struggles of having a job so we don’t starve or get evicted, whilst staying on top of uni work, socialising and letting off some steam. As students were are introduced to budgeting, paying bills, coping with the miseries of love, figuring out who our real friends are and all the other rubbish that comes with it.
These things cannot be changed. The only thing that can be changed is the way we choose to feel.
Being mindful and incorporating meditation into everyday life improves happiness, focus and perspective. When first introduced to these ideas, I thought: “I’m not the sort of person who can do that; my head just doesn’t shut up.” Since then, almost every person I’ve recommended these practices to has had the same response.
Anybody at any given time can be mindful; a state of consciousness and awareness which helps you focus on the present moment positively. When I first met my life coach, Mike, I wasn’t in the best place mentally. My mum introduced me to this down to earth and hilarious man, with long hair and a beard and an adorable hippy den in his garden decorated with books and candles and intricate, shiny ornaments. The energy in the room instantly calmed me as I sat down with a herbal tea to have a chat with him. I did not expect an hour and a half later I would walk out feeling completely cleansed. A man that was a stranger to me a couple of hours ago had guided me in my first steps of self-healing.
Some of the things Mike told me seemed so obvious, but they were all things I had needed to have pointed out to me.
Animals are in their pace, which means they live for the present moment. Unlike animals, our thoughts are constructed on past, future, anxieties, memories and fears, none of which are actually real. He asked me if I felt safe and secure, had self-approval and felt like others approved of me. I said no. I laid down and got comfy after finishing my tea. Mike played gentle chimes in the background as he spoke into a microphone and started recording over a CD. After finishing my 20 minute mediation, he asked me the same question but this time, my answers were all yes.
During this type of hypnotherapy, you are guided by your breathing to turn off your thinking and slow your pace. The results are amazing. You let go of the past and stop caring about what others think about you. You stop taking other people’s actions towards you personally and whenever someone does something to hurt you or themselves let it be their problem and not yours, because you cannot control someone’s actions. You can choose how you let it affect you. I now find it 1000 times easier to complete uni work to my full potential without getting distracted. I have stopped having sleepless nights doubting myself, asking myself why somebody has treated me in a certain way and punishing myself for not completing all of the 100 things I wanted to do that day. I have started taking control, loving myself and feeling motivated, remembering that the most important relationship I will ever have is the one with myself.
The more you keep it up regularly (I find it effective to do it daily, first thing in the morning and before bed) the more beneficial you will find it. I was ridiculously grateful for what Mike taught me, but reminded myself that although he gave me the guidance, it was really me who really helped me.
There are many guided meditation books and audiobooks online, which include daily activities you can do to help you be mindful; things like concentrating on your morning coffee and admiring the trees when walking past, the breeze through your hair or feeling of your feet on the floor. All of these are things which are effortless and can be done whenever by whoever.