The Instant Anti-Stress Meditation
For Clever People
designed by Dr Silvia Hartmann
The problem clever people have with meditating is that to empty their minds is a very difficult task - because there's such a lot going on all the time.
This doesn't help with stress at all - the cleverer you are, the faster you start to think under stress, and the longer you can keep it going before you have a breakdown!
Here's a form of meditation that doesn't try to push the mind out of the way, but instead, engages it fully, it's just a matter of DIRECTING YOUR ATTENTION.
That's a great skill in and of itself and worth learning, and learning well, stress or no stress.
Here's how to do it.
When you notice that you are getting stressed - freaked out, angry, irritated, overwhelmed, overheated, thinking too fast or in circles, pissed off at what's going on in and around you - STOP!
Take a deep breath and ask yourself:
What is causing all this stress?
Allow yourself to think about the main problems for a moment, the environment, yourself, all of it.
Now, ask yourself:
"What is this NOT like?"
Well ... let me see ...
This is NOT like ...
... being in a beautiful place, in a luscious place, where I'm feeling free and easy, happy, where I have ... where I can ... where I am ...
I can see ...
I can hear ...
I can feel ...
- Those three dots denote that you get to THINK ABOUT these good things, good feelings, good situations, and as you think about them, and think more about them, get into the details of these thing, and by all means, THINK AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE! you can start to feel your body relaxing, and you start to feel better almost immediately.
This instant stress relief meditation pattern is quite profound, and it gets easier, better and deeper with little practice.
Here's a simple example.
I was stuck in a traffic jam, in high summer, car without air conditioning, late for an appointment, thumping headache and I thought I was going to have a meltdown from sheer frustration and discomfort.
I remembered this anti-stress pattern and took charge of myself.
I asked myself, "What isn't this like?"
The answer was, "This is nothing like ... being on a beach, fresh sea breezes, with a cocktail in my hand, totally relaxed, wriggling my toes in the warm sand, breathing deeply of the vibrant ocean air, seeing the beautiful turquoise sea and the blue, blue sky; hearing the sounds of the breakers crashing to shore ...
When I came back, literally just seconds later, I was calm, refreshed and I had stopped sweating. I kept that idea in the back of my mind all the way to the appointment and arrived cool, calm, collected and with a smile on my face.
So, when you get freaked out, stressed out:
All you have to remember is to
and ask yourself,
"What isn't this like?"
You can do that anywhere, in any situation, at any time, and for as long as you can keep your attention on the answer. Pay attention, make it real, REALLY THINK about this alternate reality that is the perfect antidote to what's bugging you, right now.
And, like so many really profoundly useful things, there are many layers to this simple pattern.
As you think TOWARDS pleasure and beauty, you set goals in that direction - in THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
You affirm what it is that you want, rather than endlessly bitching about what you don't want.
And lastly, you might learn something about how to make it so that your life becomes more like "how it isn't at the moment" - more as it SHOULD BE.