Visualising, we all do it. Dreaming yourself into a beach chair with your feet in the warm sand and a cool drink in your hand while it’s cold and rainy in London. Or the other, more dramatic versions: Visualising all the dreadful out comes to a situation. Colouring in all the painful details with our imagination. Even though some people claim they don’t have an imagination we all do and we can all use it to our advantage rather than coming up with our own inner horror movie.
How fun would it be if you could easily imagine your perfect life or a perfect outcome to a situation on demand? Like your own inner Netflix. Or even better, reel yourself back in when you go into drama mode imagining the worst and change the channel on your inner TV to the “I’m so luck” channel.
You probably guessed it already. The way to this kind of control over your mind is through practicing meditation. Now, just to be clear I don’t mean the kind of meditation that is focused on taking you to a different level of consciousness and awareness. In order to become the master of your mind the level of mindfulness meditation is already enough. Training your mind to notice what is happing in the present moment and sharpening your ability to choose when to actively guide a thought and when to let it go.
If I’ve got your attention now and you are even just a little bit interested in becoming the master of your mind then keep reading. Here are five more reasons why starting a mindfulness meditation practice is a fabulous idea:
1. Kill the stress monster
Yes, stress really is a monster. It creeps up even when we have the best intentions to stay calm. One little thing happens and it rears it’s ugly head. Our shoulders go up, together with our heart rate, our breath becomes shallow and our body goes into full fight and flight mode. While fight and flight mode is a natural why for our body to respond to stress it shouldn’t be the permanent state we live in. It is designed to assist the body when we face actual threats to our survival, like having to run away from a saber-toothed tiger or mammoth, but it is not supposed to kick in when we don’t get enough likes on Instagram.
Rest and digest mode is what we should be in most of the time. But I don’t have to go into a long explanation about why this is really hard to do in our day to day life. Life is too fast, too much, too loud, too busy, too crazy, too intense, too demanding, to only name a few. You probably have your own favourite words to add after the “too”.
The best way to kill the stress monster is practicing mindfulness meditation. Learning how to calm down and pay attention to when the stress monster comes knocking is the only superpower you need to defeat the stress monster.
2. Choose your battles
More often or not our mind circles around things like “why did I say that?” or “I shouldn’t have said that”. I’m sure this sounds familiar to you. We snap at someone, but don’t really mean it or wish we would have responded to a situation differently thinking about it afterwards.
Practicing mindfulness meditation helps us to be more present in our daily encounters. While this is something that doesn’t happen from doing a meditation session once but by doing small sessions every day, it is one of the most helpful benefits in your day to day life. By feeling more present in each and every moment in our life we are gifted with the chance to properly choose our response to a situation rather than just react without thought. The element of empathy has a chance to creep in and influence our behaviour because we live a little slower.
3. Remove the Weeds
We all have unhelpful thoughts and that is completely normal. The big difference is how we deal with them. While other people are just naturals in letting them go others can dwell on them for too long. This is where visualisation comes in handy. But here is the big BUT. It is really hard to visualise when you don’t know what to visualise. Practicing mindfulness meditations not only helps you catch self-destructive and unhelpful thoughts but also helps you to become aware of what it is that you truly want and be clear about it. So clear that you can visualise it when self doubt and fear come haunting you.
4. Love is all you need
Sound pretty corny but it is the truth. I’m not talking about the free love, happy hippie kind of love. I mean self love and acceptance. Let’s be honest if you don’t at least like yourself a little bit how are others supposed to like you? We humans are masters in building communities because being part of a community is wired into our brain. And believe me there is a community for everyone. I dare you to type in your craziest preferences and Facebook, Instagram or any other social media will come up with a community of likeminded people you can join. Letting out and accepting all our quirks and secrete obsession can be difficult, especially when the are not considered the norm in society. So you have to be the first to love and accept yourself the way you are with all your flaws and brilliances. Practicing mindfulness meditation helps you to uncover the you that you truly are and embrace and fall in love with it so others can too.
5. Going at it from all angles
Life happens. Nobody is happy all the time and that is human and completely normal. When bad things happen we get to be sad, angry, disappointed, devastated and hopeless. But there always is a turning point. We have the ability to choose and look at things from different angles and ask questions like “What can I learn from this?”, “How can I improve?”, “Is the disaster a blessing in disguise?”. Picking ourselves up that way and moving forward rather than sinking deeper requires self awareness. The awareness of processing all emotions fully when something terrible happens and realising when it is time to shift towards strength and motivation. Practicing mindfulness meditation opens the floodgates to our emotions and allows us to feel them from beginning to end.
Expressing all emotions is not something that is always welcomed nowadays but it is the healthiest option. Suppressed feelings can make us sick. All feelings have a reason for being there and can be processed safely without hurting others. Pillows don’t mind being punched and nobody has died from screaming too loudly. At least not to my knowledge.
If these five reasons have convinced you and you are up for trying some mindfulness meditation and visualisation than come join my yoga class. I keep all the meditations practical and simple so you can practice them on your own as well as in class. Meditation is easiest to practice when you moved your body a little beforehand. My yoga class is for beginners so even if you consider yourself non-flexible and not-the-yoga-type I dare you to give it a try. We will have a good time together for sure.
Can’t wait to meet you,
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