by Cristin Snyder,
Through this article I would like to
explore some very basic methods that can be used to relieve
tension, stress, and depression, as well as sharpen intuition,
clear the mind, & increase energy. These methods can be
used by anyone to help restore a general sense of well-being.
As with all material of this nature it is not intended to
diagnose or cure any illness. Conditions requiring medical
attention should be treated properly through conventional
channels. Please use discretion.
All beings require equality. There must
be a balance between the spiritual, emotional, and physical
being. When the balance is off, we are off. We feel the
repercussions through physical pain, discomfort, anxiety,
anger, and depression. When we go to the doctor to seek pills
for physical ailments, typically we are focusing treatment on
the symptoms and not the underlying problem. Again, I am not
discouraging anyone from going to the doctor, however most
doctors would agree that a well-balanced person tends to be a
healthier person. Nothing that improves the outlook and helps
reduce stress can hurt you.
There are various natural methods that
can be used by anyone in even the busiest lifestyles, to help
restore a sense of balance. I will be touching on the basics
of Light Meditation, Visualization, Affirmations, and
There are many misconceptions about
meditation. Many feel it takes a lot of time or that it is a
serious religious practice. It definitely does not have to be
and is one of the most powerful tools anyone can integrate
into their lifestyles. It takes a little effort, but the
rewards are immeasurable. The truth is even a moment or two a
couple of times a day will allow the mind a chance to regroup.
This is particularly helpful for those who suffer from anxiety
or problems with short-term memory.
Meditation is the practice of stilling the mind, and
controlling where ones thoughts flow. Through doing this you
can gain a better perspective on situations in your life, as
well as become clearer and more focused throughout your daily
activities. There are dozens of other benefits to this
practice as well, which I cover more in some of my classes.
For beginning meditations I recommend sitting in a comfortable
position in a location as free from outside noise as possible.
Close the eyes and simply focus on clearing your mind of all
conscious thought. If this is difficult you can repeat a word
that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. My word is
'repose. If you catch your mind starting to wander gently pull
it back to your word or to the stillness. When you first start
try doing this for only a minute or two, and then as you do it
more you can increase the time. This helps to avoid
frustration and will help you stick with it. If you are
patient and persistent, you will find that the benefits are
well worth the effort. Your mind will thank you for the break.
Next I would like to move on to
Visualizations. All of us know how to daydream. The truth is
when you daydream you are doing a visualization of sorts. You
are removing the conscious mind from all the hustle and bustle
of its thoughts and placing it somewhere else. In
visualization exercises the purpose is to control where you
put your thoughts. It can be used to aid in pain relief,
depression, (I am seasonally depressed and use visualization
therapy a lot to help me get through winter) and in anxiety
Bring into vision in your minds eye a place that relaxes you,
a place that is all your own. It can be an actual place you
have been to, or a place you create. This will be your
sanctuary. Picture the place in your mind. Now go deeper into
the picture. What do you see? Look for the details of your
special place. What is the temperature like? If you are
outside, how is the weather? What do you hear? What do you
smell? Reach out and touch the ground or the floor, what does
it feel like? Touch; hear, smell everything here. Spend a
minute or two exploring your senses and familiarizing yourself
with this special place. Really develop this place to the
tiniest details. If it helps you, write a description of it.
It is very important to bring it to life in your mind in a way
you can always go back to it and see it in its fullest details
and unique beauty. This place is the center of your soul, a
sanctuary for you where you can relax and be free from
Next I would like to cover affirmations.
Affirmations are brief, positive statements developed to help
us to reprogram certain parts of our subconscious. We have all
heard that inner critic kick in with 'You're not pretty
enough, you're not smart enough' etc. This can be a very
powerful voice and the more negative thoughts we have the more
we feed it.
Many people are not aware of just how much negativity they
consume, self-inflicted or otherwise. I recommend keeping a
pen and paper close to you for one hour. During this hour be
conscious of your thoughts, as well as external influences.
For every negative statement you take in, make a mark on your
paper. Once this exercise is finished multiply the number of
marks on your page by at least 16, which will give you a small
idea of the amount of negativity you are continually bombarded
One of the most powerful tools to use against this ingrained
negativity is to reprogram our thought patterns. Our
subconscious minds dont care what they are programmed with,
negative or positive. When you hear something enough you start
to believe it and those negative thoughts can become
self-fulfilling prophecies. Our goal here is to fight fire
with fire so to speak, and come back at the negatives with
positives, almost like reprogramming a computer.
An affirmation should have the following
- Must be brief
- Must be concise
- Must not have the word no in it or any negative
- Must be easy to remember
- Must be repeated
An example of a good affirmation would
be I have all I need and I am thankful, or I love myself
As a general rule I say to keep the same affirmation going for
at least a week. Learn to say it with conviction. Pay
attention to what you are saying every time you repeat it.
When you have a few minutes to yourself go look in the mirror
and say it to yourself and mean it! Yes, you will tell
yourself you look silly, that's OK, do it anyway. The more you
do the less silly you will feel and the more empowered you
become. When we face ourselves we find our true strength!
I cannot say enough how much writing
helps. There are many different ways to do this, and the best
method is to find your own method - one that is comfortable to
you, as this is a very intense, very personal experience. When
you first start just write/type whatever comes into your head,
no matter how silly it might seem. This is the key to unlock
the floodgates. Gradually as you get into it and time
progresses you will open many doors of self-discovery, and
through this begin to regain your balance.
To develop a habit of writing set up a 5 - 15 minute period in
your day where you sit and write. You can make this a part of
your nighttime ritual, or do it first thing in the morning
when all is quiet.
With a little self-discipline and practice you can make
yourself a happier more balanced person through just a few
simple practices. I know from personal experience that taking
time for the Self is so vital to personal empowerment and
wellness. It is easy to get so involved in our roles that we
forget to remember our true Spirit. Take some time for
yourself and get to know your own best friend, he/She has been
right there with you all along.
© 2001 Cristin Snyder
Cristin Snyder - is a
Spiritual Guidance and Personal Empowerment coach who offers a
wide variety of Spiritual and Personal Growth Resources
through her web site Mystical Treasures.