By Nancy Stoops
I have been meditating daily since I was a teenager and now, I am sixty-five and am very peaceful in my mind, body and spirit. There are three different ways that I would recommend that you start meditation. The first one can be done daily with those of you that take walks. As you are walking pay attention to the rhythm of your walk. Practice paying attention to the rhythm as each foot moves. Make that rhythm all that you are focusing on. Any time your mind starts to wonder or think about anything take your focus back to the rhythm of your walk. The second way to meditate is to just focus on your breathing. You should be breathing deep from within your diaphragm not your chest. Once again just focus on your breathing just like the rhythm of your walk. If you get distracted or start to think, just go back to focusing on your breathing. The last one is to focus on a word. I like the word peace. So now close your eyes and just see the word peace. When your mind starts to think or you lose your focus just go back to seeing the word peace. I would recommend you start practicing these forms of meditation for 5-10 minutes daily. Meditation is a very difficult skill to master so be patient with yourself.
Many of my patents were on pharmaceuticals for depression and anxiety and now nobody in my practice uses them anymore. I attribute much of this to the meditation that I include in their sessions and in my free support groups. You are welcome to come and experience a guided meditation and body scan two more forms of meditation led by me in my groups. My groups meet every Monday evening from 6-8p.m. and the first and third Friday of every month from 9a.m.-11a.m. and they are free. Just email me before each group at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link for the zoom group. This article was written by Nancy Stoops M.A., M.F.T. Nancy is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has a private practice in Diamond Bar and is currently accepting new clients; she is also a motivational speaker who can inspire your employees or group members. Nancy runs free family support groups, a group on loss for seniors, and groups on how to manage anger. For more information about any of these services feel free to contact her at (909)229-0727. You may e-mail Nancy at email@example.com.