Meditation: Let the Healing Begin
“Nature, time and patience are three great physicians.” —H. G. Bohn
There was a time in my life when I was extremely stressed, confused and indecisive and had no sense of what I truly wanted for myself. I went to different therapists, and they all helped a bit, but nothing stopped the confusion or gave me a sense of peace until I started to meditate. As simple as it sounds, it was one of the most powerful gifts I gave myself. It helped me connect to an inner truth that really felt like my own, and this gave me so much power to remain calm, make my own decisions and understand what I really wanted for myself.
Most people have their own specific way of meditating; however, some people find it quite difficult to meditate. I have described a few simple techniques for you below. Instead of trying to meditate for a long time at one sitting, it is actually more therapeutic to do shorter meditations frequently during the day, even for only five minutes at a time. Meditation helps you to develop more positive thoughts and make more rational decisions for yourself. Daily meditation improves neurotransmitter levels in your brain, reduces anxiety, lifts your mood, helps to resolve deeper emotional issues, and connects you to your higher spiritual self.
- Sit in a comfortable position either on a cushion on the floor, or on a chair, with your back straight and the backs of your palms resting on your thighs.
- Touch the tips of your thumbs to your index fingers. Close your eyes softly, and shift your mind’s focus to your breathing, allowing your breath to follow its natural rhythm.
- Imagine that your breath is made of white light and love, and all this light and love is permeating every cell of your body and healing every part of you wherever it goes, including your thoughts and emotions.
- Meditate in a calm, clean, and uncluttered environment, preferably close to some plants or out in nature. Share your healing light and love with the plants around you and imagine the plants sharing their healing light and love with you. This increases the amount of positive energy you receive from the environment.
- Meditate for at least two minutes whenever you have a chance during the day, and then slowly work your way up to ten minutes or longer.
- If your mind becomes crowded with thoughts during your meditation, observe these thoughts without trying to fight them away and without judging them. As you observe these thoughts, observe what reactions they evoke in you, and allow those reactions to occur without struggling against them. Let these thoughts disappear gently as you return to your visualization. Allowing your thoughts and feelings to come and go during your meditation develops harmony and patience in your mind and helps you become more comfortable and confident in yourself. As you become more comfortable with your feelings, your thoughts will have less power to create stress in your body.
- Other forms of meditation, apart from focusing on your breath, include visualizing different images, such as golden light in the center of your forehead, a peaceful candle flame, the ocean, the sky, or nature.
See It to Believe It
Another way to meditate is to visualize words like joy, love, forgiveness, and peace. Smiling and meditating on positive words can be very uplifting. Close your eyes and imagine the word joy, and let your feelings follow the idea of joy. Smile when you remember to smile and relax in the sensation of joy.
Meditating daily creates harmony in your heart, and you will feel less disturbed by stressful situations. Positivity will come more naturally to you, and you will begin to feel more comfortable with yourself.
Forgiveness, Disappointments, and Expectations
Forgiveness can be a difficult thing sometimes. Most of us, even when we try to forgive, are still left with a feeling of hurt or disappointment. This is normal. Even though you know it might be good for you to forgive someone or something, your mind might not be ready to let go or forget. In fact, sometimes saying “I forgive you” to someone still leaves you with a feeling that something wrong happened between you and that the person might still be guilty.
Through my training in family constellations therapy, I found a new humble and more complete way of saying “I forgive you.” It’s by saying “I’m sorry this happened for me with you,” or “I’m sorry this happened for us,” or “I’m sorry this happened, for me, with us,” or a similar version to this. Saying it this way allows you to accept and let go of the situation more completely and peacefully. It also removes any blame you still hold for the person and doesn’t leave you with a false sense of superiority. Try it out. Even if you don’t feel like forgiving someone who hurt you or disappointed you, try saying this, either to them directly or in your mind, and see what happens. Forgiveness sets your mind free of negative energy, thoughts and blame. It allows you to move forward more peacefully and positively.
Resentment and disappointment torment your mind, making you more negative and preventing you from living life positively. Similarly, unmet expectations can be a great source of unconscious depressive energy that we carry around with us. According to some therapists, unmet expectations and disappointments, especially related to our parents, can be a source of chronic depression without us knowing it. Think about all the unmet expectations or disappointments you have experienced with people. Whether you expected them to do something for you, or if they behaved in a certain way, or if they took something from you – whatever it is, do a mental check and see if you have any anger, resentment, disappointment or sad feelings around any memories. Now, really let go of these expectations and disappointments, and say the forgiveness sentence “I’m sorry this happened…” to all of these memories. Really make a mental effort to pull away from this stagnant energy which is holding you back from living life and smiling to yourself often enough. Say “It’s safe to let go,” or “It’s safe to feel this way,” or “It’s safe to feel forgiveness sometimes,” or any other sentence, like this, will free you from the grip of resentment and disappointment. Once you can move away from these feelings, your brain will rewire itself, and you will free up some mental space for more positive thoughts and feelings.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Developed by Gary Craig, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the fastest-growing methods people are using to find relief from emotional problems. In EFT, you say statements about your feelings and tap on particular acupuncture points on your body. Even though EFT may seem bizarre to do at first, EFT brings significant emotional relief immediately and changes negative beliefs and perceptions into more positive experiences.
- To perform EFT, choose an emotion or experience you are struggling with and that you want to change into a more positive one.
- Using your right fingertips, tap on the fleshy part of the edge of your left palm below your little finger (known as the “karate chop point”) while saying the following phrase three times: “Even though I… (Say your issue here, e.g., “am hurt by my partner’s arrogance toward me” or “am feeling really depressed right now”), I deeply and completely love, accept and respect myself.”
- Shorten your starting sentence into a summary sentence (for example, the above sentence can become, “hurt by Steven’s arrogance”), and tap at least three times on the following points on your body while saying the shortened version of your sentence:
- On the bone near the inner corner of your eyebrow (left or right eye, it doesn’t matter)
- On the bone on the outer edge of your eye
- On the bone underneath your eye
- On the flesh above your lip and underneath your nose
- On the flesh above your chin and beneath your lower lip
- On the inner part of your collar bone
- On your fourth rib underneath your breast
- On the side of your ribs underneath your armpit
You might feel a shift in awareness about your feelings, and you can alter your sentence to match your new feelings. For example, you might say “less depressed” or “feeling relieved” while you continue to tap. Once you reach the end tapping point underneath your armpit, start again if you still have any negative feelings left. Change your sentence to closely match any new feelings you are experiencing. This is a simplified version of EFT and more details and more precise tapping points can be found on the internet, including free manuals on EFT. The beauty of EFT is that it uses acupuncture points as well as positive affirmations to create new neural connections in your brain, and it discharges emotional holding patterns, creating long-term benefits very easily.
If you would like to read more about this topic, please, check out Dr. Aggarwal’s book: Heal Your Body, Cure Your Mind
Series IV of VII
Read the Series: I of VII, II of VII, III of VII
Dr. Ameet Aggarwal ND is a naturopathic doctor and psychotherapist (Gestalt, Family Constellations, EMDR) with years of experience treating physical issues, anxiety, stress, depression, abuse, relationship issues and also working with UNICEF, UN Staff and other large organizations. His online course on using the 5 pillars of health, (free videos on health.drameet.com), lecturing around the world and being voted top 5 speaker on 2 world summits has earned him the recognition of top 43 naturopaths to follow.