Meditation: An opioid alternative


In light of the opioid crisis, doctors are searching for alternatives to help patients in chronic pain. Physical therapy, numbing creams, different drugs – these are all common alternatives.

But here’s a new one: meditation.

There’s science to meditation. Pain creates a stress response in the body that can cause anxiety, causing a bigger stress response and more anxiety.

“It’s this vicious circle which can be slowed down by narcotics or by other mindfulness techniques,” Marco said.

And while opioids flood the brain with dopamine, studies show that meditation can increase dopamine naturally.

Marco recommends a couple apps to his patients: Back Doctor and Stop, Breathe and Think. You can find both of those for free in the App Store. The exercises trigger the body to make endorphins.

Read entire article here.

Meditate with Urmila: How to do it daily –


I often get asked, ‘How can I set up a daily practice of meditation?’ The answer is quite simple: ‘By setting up the resolve!’

But how do I ensure that I follow my resolve, it is asked. Well, this question is valid too. And the answer is: by practicing affirmations. You can practice affirmations anywhere and everywhere: “Today, I will sit for meditation, no matter what.”

You can repeat this until it sinks into you fully. Or visualise yourself sitting in meditation, enjoying the calm and stillness.

This is how you set up the resolve; bring it back in your mind again and again, until you remember it fully, imbibe it completely and feel the benefits.

Resolve is important for people who waver or find excuses. Excuses have no nature, they could be anything. The most common one is: ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ Others include; ‘I am not cut out for it or it’s a long shot to peace.’

People find excuses because they do not have faith that they can attain something by sitting at one place. The belief that rushing around is the way to get things done is strong. People lack trust in the inner self and hence make up excuses. When they trust ‘I can do it,’ they will do it.

It is not uncommon to face initial frustration in not being able to concentrate. Initially, concentration may be difficult. You see, you are tuning into a new vibration; the vibration of stillness, peace and quiet. Tuning into that frequency takes practice.

People try and give up meditation as well. That is because they again get caught up in the drama of the external world. Perhaps they find the drama juicy or perhaps it is a way to cope up to their inhibitions. For either category, getting back is possible. Setting up a resolve is helpful.

How long?

In daily practice, 15-20 minutes is good to begin with. Gather yourself first. When you have gathered yourself and are able to slip into that mode effortlessly, you can gradually increase the time. Pick a time in the day when you are able to concentrate the most.

In the context of how long to practice in life, the answer is: as long as you want. As long as you feel the need to discover yourself. Self-discovery is a very interesting journey. There are so many aspects of yourself that you will realise you have. You are your own biggest mystery to solve. You may take years to solve your own (self) puzzle. There is so much task at hand, yet you get caught up in everyone’s drama but your own.

How do you know your meditation is working?

It depends on what results you are looking for. It will reveal if you are clear on the goals of your meditation. You will see discernible changes in those areas.

For example, if you want good relationship with your family and friends then meditate with that intention. Set your affirmations; tell your body, mind and soul. Tune yourself to the frequency of love. Tell your being: “I have healthy relationship with… I thank him/her for being in my life, for teaching me the lessons of patience or kindness or compassion or.” Extend appreciation as the frequency of appreciation is high. When you give out your appreciation, you raise your vibration.

Know that no one comes into your life without a purpose. So, thank him or her for the lessons they have taught you. Think of it as a great service the person has done to you in the path of your growth and your evolvement by bringing the lessons that you needed to learn. Appreciation and compassion extended in this vibratory manner is not lost. You will start seeing improved relationship with the person.

Set up a resolve and follow it. Back up with affirmations and thank yourself for following through with the resolve. Extend and express gratitude to self and others, be compassionate and bask in the purity of your soul. Bask in the purposeful living of yourself.

— Urmila Rao is a chakra balancing meditation coach and a certified Theta healer-practitioner. She can be reached at

How To Find And Reopen Your Blocked Chakras

chakras meditation

Each of the seven chakras is important for its own individual reasons.

When all seven chakras are open we experienced happiness and health. But just one single closed chakra can cause serious health problems, both mental and physical.

So how do we keep our chakras balanced?

One of the best ways is to know the signs of blocked chakras. Once you know how to spot a blocked chakra you can take the necessary steps to reopen it.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of blocked chakras and how to reopen them.

The Signs Of Blocked Chakras And How To Reopen Them

Root Chakra: The root chakra (Muladhara) is located at the base of the spine and is associated with the color red and the mantra Lam.

This chakra is all about being rooted. When this chakra is open we feel grounded, connected to Earth, and rooted. This can help with self-confidence and inner-calm.

When the root chakra is blocked it can cause insecurity, fear and anxiety. Thankfully, we can reopen this chakra. To do so, work on facing your fears and letting go. Eating root vegetables and walking barefoot will also help.

Sacral Chakra: The sacral chakra (Swadhisthana) is located two inches below the navel and is associated with the color white and the mantra “Vam” This chakra holds the basic needs for sexuality, self worth, creativity and intuition.

When the sacral chakra is closed it can caused lack of emotions, lack of sexual satisfaction, and feelings of guilt.
To reopen this chakra, investigate any concerns that are bothering you and take steps to fix them. Surrounding yourself with beauty is also helpful, as is meditating on the mantra “Vam”.

Solar Plexus Chakra: The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) is located in the navel area and is associate with the color yellow and the mantra “Ram”. This mantra is important for personal power and ego and is responsible for anger, impulses and strength.

When the Solar Plexus Chakra is blocked it can cause insecurity, frustration, and fear of rejection. We can balance this chakra by spending more time in the open air, taking better care of ourselves and particularly of our image, and playing sports.

Heart Chakra: The Heart Chakra (Anahata) is located in the centre of the spine, close to the heart. It is associated with the color green and the mantra “Yam”. This chakra is all about love, compassion, and spirituality. When it is balanced we feel love and kindness for both other people and for ourselves. But when it is close we feel dissociated, negative about other people, and unappreciative of those who are in our lives. One of the best ways to open the heart chakra is to volunteer. This lets us help those in need, which can be a great source of compassion. Meeting new people and enjoying positive relationships will also balance this chakra.

Throat Chakra: The Throat Chakra (Vishuddi) is located in the throat and is associated with the color blue and the mantra “Ham”. This chakra is all about communication, sound, and clarity of thoughts and speech. When this chakra is closed we will be deceptive and will not speak the truth. When it is open we will communicate and think clearly and honestly.

Opening the throat chakra requires clear communication. Practice singing, talking, thinking and writing, and always aim to be honest and clear.

Third Eye Chakra: The Third Eye Chakra (Ajna) is located between the eyebrows and is associated with the color indigo and the mantra “Om”. When the third eye chakra is open we have access to our psychic powers and have great insight into ourselves and the world around us. When it is closed we struggle to focus, have a hard time remembering, and can suffer from nightmares. Opening the third eye chakra can be done through meditation and by practicing the Shambhavi Mudra or Eyebrow Gazing Mudra. It can also help to spend time star-gazing and to meditate on nature.

Crown Chakra: The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) is located above the head and is associated with the colour violet and the mantra “Ah”. This chakra is all about spirituality and enlightenment. When this chakra is open we experience pure consciousness and wisdom. When it is closed we become too attached to material possessions, and can feel meaningless and depressed. To open this chakra, try meditating on the mantras “Om” and “Ah” and begin to think of yourself as being one with the universe. Practicing Dhyana Meditation will help with this.


When we have seven open and balance chakras we will experience health and happiness and we will have a positive relationship with ourselves and the world around us. While negative events can cause chakras to close, we can reopen them by practicing meditation (particularly Chakra Meditation) and by taking the steps listed above.

About the author

Paul Harrison is a spiritual author and meditation teacher in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has studied meditation for twenty years and has read hundreds of books, attended lecturers, and learnt via gurus. He shares his wisdom on his blog Be sure to read Paul’s guide to Chakra Dhyana meditation today so you can experience the joy of seven balanced chakras.

Do meditation sounds help you sleep or meditate?

meditation sounds
Meditation Sounds : Help or Hindrance ?

Someone asked me this question. Perhaps the person who asked this question is trying to do a survey to collect data about this question.  That is to know how many people attain a deep state of meditation or fall into a state of sleep in the presence of a meditation sound.

In Meditation practice, there have been many sounds like bells, soothing background music, the natural sound of flowing water, cold breeze, ocean waves etc which have been found very useful in the meditation practices the world over.

In my opinion, meditation sounds acts as a helpful tool in creating an environment of ease and comfort while meditating. There has been not much use of these sounds in the actual meditation practice (except when we are talking about the specialized sounds – the Mantras which have an exclusive meditation technique dedicated to them).

During the guided meditation practice (which nothing but a general name given to step by step meditation instructions given to a group or individual by a guide/master/teacher) the use of meditation sound (particularly a soothing background music) is very common. The light background music during meditation helps the practitioners in maintaining  a focus on the instructions by decreasing the possibilities of distractions.  The background sounds helps in creating a unique atmosphere of attentiveness where every other sound gets receded in the background.

As regards the sleep induction when a meditation sound is played, it is very much possible to fall into sleep. However, the likelihood of the same is very remote and only the absolute beginners in meditation can get affected by it. Further, those meditation practices which require lying down (with  eyes closed) may lead to practitioner fall into sleep in the background of a soothing sound. However, again, it depends upon the temperament (and to some extent  experience ) of the practitioner that he or she will fall into sleep or not.

So in my opinion, it would be too unrealistic to come to any definite conclusions regarding role of meditation sounds in the matter of meditation or sleep.  In majority of cases, meditation sounds helps in the practice than the other way around.

How to know if Meditation is working for You


How to know if Meditation is working for me?

Or :  Am I making progress in Meditation ?

When you start doing meditation on regular basis, these questions will keep bothering you.  In this article we will discuss about some changes you will experience in your practice to know if Meditation is working for you or not.

Just like any other endeavor worth doing, it is natural for us to be curious about our progress in Meditation. This is really important to make any course correction in between like tweaking the practice, changing the schedule or trying an altogether different meditation technique.

So, how to know if Meditation is working for you ?

Since everybody in this world is different, it is difficult to give a general answer for this question. But still here is this : You will start feeling some  positive changes in you. 

One of the most visible changes will be an increase in the depth of your awareness. It will happen very slowly but it is bound to happen.  You will realize that all along you will be living this life in a sleep state. There was no attempt to be a witness of your own thoughts and you were a slave to the desire of your mind. Now as you start meditating, you will get a chance to contemplate on these desires and their root. It is just like withdrawing yourself from the role of a character you are playing in a stage called life and sitting in the audience to watch the play.

I know that reaching at the stage of witness is not an easy task. It takes time and consistent practice but its glimpses start appearing in the very early stage itself. Suppose you are trying to meditate for the past 20 minutes and  every time you focus your attention on your breathing, your mind wanders and make you involve in a thought process. The arising of thoughts in your mind are so strong that you find it impossible to stop it. However, then after getting involved in the wandering of the thoughts you suddenly realize that you are suppose to focus your attention on the breathing.  And then you come back and align your focus on the breath.  Then again, after a few seconds, your mind wanders again.  Then after a few minutes you again realize that the mind has wandered. And it goes on. ..

Now, tell me honestly. Who tells you during this process that your mind has wandered ?  Think about it.

It’s the witness inside you. It starts showing its glimpses in the initial practice itself.

Apart from a realization of the witness, what are the other changes one can expect ?

The process of meditation, when done properly, is a huge stress buster. The problems, challenges, misfortune, ill luck, the stress of the daily life, the constant demands from various people you come into contact on daily basis – None of them will go by Meditation. They all will remain to bother you at every step of your life. However, when you start meditating, these things will no longer make you miserable.  After every session of meditation, you will find energy and confidence in dealing with all of them.  Though it is difficult to explain the reasons behind this phenomenon, the very process of meditation kicks in positive change in our outlook towards life. You will find yourself better prepared to tackle with all the issues that surrounds you on daily basis.

Meditation is not a miracle that will fulfill all your wishes. But it is a miracle that will makes you think over the relevance of those wishes and achieve  a proper perspective about them.

So, how to know if meditation is working ? If you are doing correctly, you will get to know yourself. The accompanying benefits that will come through meditation will be the proof enough that it is working for you.

Maintain a Healthy Body in Five Steps : A Mini Guide.

When it comes to taking care of your health; always remember that small efforts make a big difference. Since we are so much caught up in our strenuous daily routines; we find it a bit challenging to take time out to exercise and to take notice of our diet regimes till the day we are hit by a disease.

All of us at some point in our lives have taken our health for granted which is a price our bodies have to pay later. Don’t do that!  Your health is the most valuable asset of yours; take care of it in the best way possible. It’s a gift from God which you should cherish forever. Want to maintain a healthy body from this year and looking to find some motivation to do so? Here is your easy 5 steps guide towards a healthy lifestyle.

1. Watch Your Diet:

 You are what you eat! The day you will start watching over what you are eating on regular basis is the day you will take the first step towards living a healthy life and having a healthy body and mind. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, take lean meat and fish and get rid of junk food, sugar and bakery items. Even if you are unable to exercise regularly; taking care of your diet and intake of good proteins will help you to acquire an ideal weight and a good body.

Maintain a Health Body
How to gain a healthy body in Five Steps

 2. Increase Intake Of Water:

Our bodies have 70 percent of water in them. That’s how important water is for our health. An average adult requires 8-10 glasses of water everyday to fill up his or her body needs. But too often we ignore this basic aspect of living a healthy lifestyle and drink just 3-4 glasses of water per day. Not good at all! Try increasing the water intake in your body and see the difference in your health within just 2-3 weeks.

3. Watch The Portions:

 If you are thinking about starting off with a good diet plan; try looking for one that does not involve starving for long hours. Although no dietician and diet planners ever recommend starving yourself in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy body but still we tend to think this way. Try cutting down your food intake into small portions that you can eat after every 2 hours. In addition to it; take lots of natural fluids and green tea.

4. Regular Exercise:

 Now here comes the best part! Make it a part of your daily routine to exercise for not more than an hour and you will be amazed at the results you will obtain after a couple of weeks. Try home bound exercises if you are unable to go outside or join a gym. Buy a pair of weight bunch or dumbbells that you can easily put in your home or in your office.

5. Think Positive:

 A healthy mind bears a healthy body. Life is full of ups and downs and we often start thinking negative if something good is not happening in ours. Never let your mind wander into the caves of negativity as this will completely damage your inner peace and your body. Generally the obese people tend to be more depressed than the others and in this way; they will never be able to overcome their weaknesses. Life is beautiful, live it in the best way possible.

Author Bio:

 Ida Jones is a mother of two little ones. She enjoys home-based workouts, cardio exercises and long runs. She loves spending her vacations outdoors with her kids around nature. She believes in clean and healthy eating. She regularly writes about fitness tips and much more at Fitness Grit.

How long should you meditate ?

How Long should you meditate

How Long should you meditate?

This is one of the most asked questions on Meditation.

How long should you meditate?

Honestly speaking, there is no single answer.

The answer depend on your expectations with meditation. If you are planning to live in an Ashram, Retreat Centre or any similar institution to devote yourself fully for the development of your spiritual self, then it would be difficult to assign a specific time schedule for your meditation practice except what will be provided to you by your teachers there. Moreover, when you devote yourself in the practice of meditation full time, you will eventually evolve a time schedule on your own.

However, if you are living in a family setup (as a homemaker or the head of the family or a student) then you will be having a whole lot of activities to do on daily basis. As such, meditation will be one of the many other things you will like to prioritize. My advice on the expected duration of meditation  is aimed towards those people who are living a busy and modern life and want to utilize the full benefit of meditation.

So how much meditation is enough ?  

The fact is : it depends.

To really having a feeling of something, as if you have been immersed in the process of meditation, at least 20 minutes are required.

After a very long practice of meditation that was consciously maintained in an extremely busy schedule, it is my personal opinion that a 20 minutes practice of meditation is bare minimum to have an in depth feeling of it.

So if you can spare at least 20 minutes for your meditation practice, that will  be golden.

But what if you can’t spare even 20 minutes a day for meditation.

Then do it for 15 minutes.

If that is not possible, then do it for 10 minutes. Though this duration of 10 minutes is not enough, still with consistent practice, it will produce its desired effect.

But What is you can’t spare even 10 minutes a day for meditation.

If you don’t have time for even 10 minutes for meditation, then it means 2 things:

1) The first thing is that your priorities are highly  imbalanced. How many minutes you spend everyday on Whatsapp and Facebook? If you can’t spend even 10 minutes on meditation then you need to reorient your priorities. In a day that consist 24 hours, finding a time for 10 minute meditation practice is not an impossible task. The only thing that is required is an honest contemplation of your entire schedule for the day and minimize the non-essential tasks.

2) The second meaning (of your inability to find time for meditation) is the brutally honest fact that you simply don’t want to meditate. As simple as that. Because, just like every other thing in life, you can always find time for something that you want to do.

Let me tell you something on the basis of experience of my own and those of numerous other – Meditation is  joy. It is a sort of pleasing addiction with no negative traits of other addictions. Once you start doing it on regular basis, it will start attracting you like a magnate.  It is something that you will WANT to do daily. Once it happen, you will find time for it.

The only thing that is required is a genuine effort on your part to give meditation a try for at least 10 minutes.

You must be wondering why I did not advise to meditate for 5 minutes or less a day? I know that there have been many videos/article on internet where masters have advised their disciple to meditate for whatever duration they want- even if it is for one minute only. While I respect all these masters, I do not agree with that.

A daily practice of only 5 minutes of meditation per day is not advisable. It must be at least 10 minutes for a bare minimum and at least 20 minutes for some substantial gain. However, when you are doing it daily for at least 10 or more minutes a day and if on a particular day, the prevailing circumstances does not allow you enough time, then and only then, you should reduce your practice for less than 10 minutes. On these days, your emphasis should be to at least ensure the continuance of the practice- even if it is for one minute only. But under no circumstances you should make it a daily routine to meditate for less than 10 minutes.

In summation, my answer to the question : How long should you meditate? is as under :

You should meditate at least 20 minutes a day to ensure fastest growth.

At least 10 minutes a day for ensuring any meaningful gain from it.

Never less than 10 minutes per day as a matter of routine.

Only  in unavoidable circumstances, you may reduce your duration to less than 10 minutes.

I hope you have gained something from above article. In case, you have any question, feel free to ask by making a comment below

Meditation – Does It Help Lower Blood Pressure or Not?

Why Patients with High Blood Pressure Should Practice Meditation

Meditation helps in lower blood pressure

Does Meditation helps lower blood pressure

Meditation is an ancient practice from the Buddhist tradition in which an individual tries to focus on peaceful thoughts and relax their mind. Despite the high-stress environment many people live in today, only about 8 percent of Americans take part in some type of meditation.

However, some research points to the fact that stress may impact heart disease, which is a major cause of death worldwide. For example, psycho-social therapies have been found to prevent secondary heart attacks.

“When stress is excessive, it can contribute to everything from high blood pressure, also called hypertension, to asthma to ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome,” explained Ernesto L. Schiffrin, M.D., Ph.D., physician-in-chief at Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital.

If a high level of stress leads to hypertension, would stress reduction via meditation help to treat the condition? Keep reading to find out!

American Heart Association Found Meditation May Decrease Blood Pressure

In September 2017, a group of heart disease experts and a neuroscientist from the American Heart Association reviewed past research on several typical types of sitting meditation and their impact on heart disease risk factors including blood pressure.

The researchers looked at the following types of meditation:

  1. Relaxation Response
  2. Loving-Kindness (Metta)
  3. Raja Yoga, Mindful Meditation
  4. Zen Meditation
  5. Vipassana
  6. Samantha
  7. Transcendental Meditation.

The findings show that all of these types of meditation decreased anxiety and stress while improving sleep. The researchers also discovered that meditation may have led to lower blood pressure. However, it is difficult to tell exactly how much it would decrease blood pressure in a particular patient.

Hypertension Expert from Massachusetts General Hospital Prescribes Meditation

Randy Zusman, director of the hypertension program at Massachusetts General Hospital, spent much of his career following the traditional route of writing medication prescriptions for patients with high blood pressure.

However, after taking part in a three-month study, he began prescribing meditation to his patients as well as recommending lifestyle changes.

In this study, patients treated for high blood pressure with medication were also enrolled in a relaxation response training program. These particular patients were taking medicine and following recommendations prior to the study, but their blood pressure was still sky high.

The results from the study showed that around 40 out of 60 patients taking part in the meditation program had reduced blood pressure levels and were able to change the dosage of some of their medications.

Once again, research showed that meditation and relaxation programs do result in lower blood pressure.

Stress Management and Meditation

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Kent State University, and Rice University published a paper in which they discussed how stress-management therapies have been found to successfully reduce blood pressure levels.

Despite this, stress-management treatments have not been widely implemented in the medical field partially due to the lack of healthcare experts who can provide stress management education to patients with high blood pressure.

This is where meditation comes in.

Meditation can be practiced independently and may not have the same mental health stigma associated with stress management techniques. Transcendental meditation is one type that has been widely studied as a type of therapy for high blood pressure.

One study discussed in the paper found that both men and women who underwent transcendental meditation gained significant reductions in blood pressure levels after three months.

Why Meditation is Worthwhile

These are just a few reputable sources that agree that meditation can lower blood pressure levels among many individuals.

But why would you take part in meditation when your doctor only told you to take your medicine?

If you are able to reduce your blood pressure through meditation and other home remedies, you may eventually require a lower dosage or even be able to stop taking medication altogether, depending on your doctor’s advice.

Why would you prefer to stop taking medication?

There are many side effects that blood pressure medication brings. You may feel dizzy, drowsy, tired, or nauseous. Other side effects include increased sensitivity to the cold, headaches and weight changes.

Another negative aspect of taking blood pressure medication is the prohibitive cost and once you add visits with a cardiologist and medical tests, the price grows much too high.

As such, taking part in meditation to reduce your blood pressure is a much simpler measure. All you’ll need to do is look up a video online describing a form of meditation or possibly take a meditation class at your local YMCA.

Then you can find yourself a quiet space, meditate, and watch your blood pressure drop.

About the author :

Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, attorney, interior decorator, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path Essential Oils, a naturopathic wellness company that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.

5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health Through Meditation

5 tips to improve mental health through meditation

The role of meditation in promoting improved mental health has been recognized for centuries. As more and more medical studies seem to provide concrete, irrefutable links between good mental health and meditation, however, its positives effects are becoming more mainstream and more widely recognized.

If you think that your own mental health could be improved through meditation then you might be right. If you want to see for yourself, then here are 5 simple ways that meditation could improve your mental health.


There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that meditation can help to reduce anxiety and stress, including from studies at Harvard University. However, in order to gain these benefits, you have to meditate. We recommend setting aside at least 10 minutes a day to meditate, and with this practice, you will inevitably see the benefits to your mood and well-being. There are apps available that can track your practice, such as Headspace.

Listen to guided meditation

Meditation provides a space to think and to listen to your body. Some issues that affect your mental health can have underlying, physical symptoms. But let’s face it, how many of us have time to listen to the signs and warnings our bodies provide us that something is going wrong? Meditation reverses this trend – it allows a period of reflection, where you can actually listen to your body and to your mind. One way of improving your mental health through meditation is to listen to guided meditation tapes of YouTube videos, which can provide a sense of calm. Someone who is well known on YouTube is Jason Stephenson. Check out his guided meditations.

Learn from the best

In today’s hectic lifestyles, with time sapping chores and rigid schedules it can be hard to simply find time to relax – and that is not good news for your overall mental health. Finding time to meditate however can really help in this area too.  However, perhaps even more helpful is to rely on an expert to teach you how to meditate to reduce anxiety. One example is Andy Puddicombe, who is the founder of Headspace and former Buddhist Monk, who has written a number of books and created a number of platforms to help you to learn from the best.

Combine with Yoga

If you suffer from long-term illness then this can often have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Meditation can be an underutilized tool in combating a number of illnesses, both long and short-term. It is particularly effective in managing illnesses that are worsened by stress. ‘Meditation’, of course, can mean a number of things, but by meditation, most of us will mean sitting quietly and contemplating. Yoga, however, is also a form of meditation, and one that, if combined with quiet contemplation, will also aid anxiety, as it provides another way of practicing mindfulness, and will also give you some physical outlet, further helping with your anxiety.

Of course, meditation should not be seen as – and definitely is not – a replacement for traditional treatments for illness. It is a good idea to consider consulting with your physician before you begin a program of meditation.

Try mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is where mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy combine. It involves interrogating your thoughts in order to change your thought process, and it could be very effective in treating anxiety, as it is more the sum of its parts and not merely a combination of mindfulness and CBT. However, if it is to work, you need to stick to it, as practice is the key.

One of the great things about using meditation to help improve your mental health is the fact that is so easy! 10-minute windows of meditation in the day can really work wonders, making it easy to fit into busy schedules. There is little – if actually any – equipment really required.

Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.


What if you can’t meditate despite trying

Frustration in Meditation Photo

What to do when you can’t meditate ?

This is a very common problem. You make a routine for meditation and allot some time for meditating. However, despite your trying your level best, you find that on a one particular day or,  for some days in succession, you are not able to meditate.

Focus, simply is not there. You feel as if this whole thing is fake.  Meditation is not for you. No matter, how sincerely you are trying, you are just not able to focus. Time just fly away in that particular slot. You start by focusing on you breathing and, after 15-20 minutes, you end while thinking about that nefarious fellow in your office who is hell bent on creating as much problem in your life as humanely possible. Or you end up thinking about that marvelous shirt you wanted to buy in the Mall during your weekend trip but could not as it was for display only !

In nutshell, your mind go into the whirlwind of desires during that short dedicated span of meditation. And you are nuts.

So what to do in this situation?

Nothing. The very fact that you are realizing that it is difficult to focus during meditation is itself a positive step in the right direction.  You set aside some portion of time in your daily routine for meditation, you sit peacefully during that time for meditation and you tried in a genuine way to meditate. This itself is enough. Even if the end result was not as satisfactory as you wanted. The time that you spent trying to meditate is not all lost. Believe me. When you realize that your mind keeps wandering during meditation, you actually enhance your knowledge about the nature of your monkey mind.

The most difficult thing is to be aware  of this wandering of the mind. Once we get involved in the thought process, we give fuel to this wandering. But as soon as you realize this wandering, you gently come back to the very process of meditation. Then you again got involved in the wandering. Then again you realize and come back. And it goes on.

Slowly slowly, as you keep trying, you deepen your practice. You start choosing not to get involved in the thought process. And this involvement is the food of the mind. Once , the supply of this food is stopped, the mind starts following your command.

It appears difficult in the beginning.  However, as you keep trying, it become very easy. Eventually.

The key is to not get discouraged. When you are working on your mind, you are working on the most difficult beast in the world. It is extremely difficult to tame it. But you can tame it, provided you don’t get frustrated. Provided, you keep learning its nature.

In the long run, the very act of sitting daily for meditation, even if the same does not appear to have any effect on your inner being,  will bring remarkable change in you. Just wait and watch.