Meditation has become for me a steadfast morning ritual, but getting there was not a quick and easy path. Learning takes time and beginnings can be difficult, and each person’s journey is unique. I have been meditating on and off for over 10 years, but it’s only been over the last five years that I have come to meditate regularly. The more I practice, the more meditation helps keep me steady and balanced throughout the day.
Many people come to meditation with preconceived ideas about what it is and their ability (or inability) to use it for health and well-being. As a nurse and a health coach, I continually ask clients about their knowledge and use of meditation. Responses vary from “oh, I’ve tried it I just can’t sit still” to “it’s too hard to quiet my mind, it’s just too busy with thoughts” and “I know about meditation, but have never tried it,” the later statement usually being followed by “I just am not sure how to do it.”
Having experienced the healing benefits of meditation in my own life, I usually incorporate meditation into sessions with clients either formally or informally. One tool I use is known as HeartMath. Science has shown that the heart communicates with the brain and body on number of different levels and that there is actually more communication from the heart to the brain than from the brain to the heart. The heart governs our emotions and thus the “ intelligence” of the heart affects our emotions and, as a result, our physical health, too. The HeartMath techniques give individuals a framework that uses breathing techniques to access emotions, feel them fully in the body and tap into the ability we all have to balance heart rhythms. This in turn helps to balance emotions, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.
Meditation can come in a wide variety of styles with the main focus of each to teach us to listen, follow and gain awareness of what needs our attention in our lives. There is no one-size-fits-all technique, so investigating meditation styles and finding what works best for you and beginning to make it a consistent part of each day is the best way to start.
Learn more about HeartMath Techniques: https://www.heartmath.org/resources/heartmath-tools/
By Terri Laggis
Owner of Wisteria Healing Arts, Terri Laggis, R.N. is health coach, and senior faculty and board member at Copper Beech Institute. Terri will be co-leading a mindfulness retreat for nurses, Carriers of Light: Resilience and the Art of Nursing, May 1-3, 2015. Learn more >>
Copper Beech Institute is the nation’s newest retreat center for mindfulness and contemplative practice located in West Hartford, Connecticut. We offer more than 40 transformational retreats and courses, as well as mindfulness practice and mindfulness at work offerings to help you find the calm, compassion and true happiness you seek.