Meditation: A Relaxation Technique for Clearing Mental Toxins
by Benjamin Marta
Anxious? Trouble sleeping? Depressed? Yeah, I was too. After deciding to finish school, I became exhausted, anxious, and stressed from college life, but didn’t know any relaxation techniques for coping with stress. My mindset was filled with unhealthy mental toxins. Trying to balance a job, social life, and school were overwhelming. It felt like I didn’t have time to breathe, let alone sleep.
While up late one night, I noticed a meditation book my parents had given me years ago. I picked it up, read the first paragraph, and didn’t stop reading until I finished the last. When finished, I suddenly realized how dedicated I was to the moment and how completely still my mind was. A still mind was exactly what was needed to help me live a healthier and happier life, so I decided to give it a try and learn about meditation techniques. It took some practice and patience to discover how these meditation techniques worked, but after a few tries, I noticed some positive effects.
Since learning how to stay in the moment, my life has changed for the better. I’m able to alleviate most of the mental toxins that had cluttered my mind before, and I feel much healthier because of it. I just needed to take out the trash—the mental trash. Without the extra clutter in your mind, you can concentrate your energy on having fun in the moment and not be worried about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. After all, life is all about having fun! Right?
Many meditation techniques work by helping us to relieve the mind of harmful thoughts. In its most simplistic form, meditation helps train our brains to think rationally—giving us more clarity. It can help you to realize when you’re having those toxic judgments that may lead to depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep; this is all just mental trash. Who needs it? Let’s take out the trash! In the Girls in Power program and her book Empower Your Girl, founder Melinda Rae incorporates and discusses mindfulness and the following 4 relaxation techniques in greater detail to help teach girls like us how to live a more healthy and happy life.
4 relaxation techniques for taking out the trash:
1. Be still and in the moment:
Don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow, there’s nothing we can do to change it, so let’s try to have fun right now!
2. Quiet your mind:
We can politely say “Shhhhhh” to our loud mind by reminding it to be mindful. A mindful mind is only concerned with being in the moment; that’s a quite mind. Your quiet mind.
3. Thinking positive:
Keep it fun and think fun! A positive mental attitude (PMA), first developed and introduced in 1937 by Napoleon Hill in the book Think and Grow Rich, will help you seek out positive choices, expect positive results and have more good times than bad.
4. Be you. Love you:
Don’t worry about what others may think of you, it only matters to them, not you, right? Love you for you. After all, there is only one you in this whole world and it deserves lots of love.
- How do I start Meditating?
Want to try meditation? Great! You don’t have to spend lots of time to get the full effect—try 5 minutes your first day. If you don’t like it, that’s ok, but I suggest trying 5 minutes a day for at least two weeks to see if it can help get rid of that pesky mental trash. This will give your mind some time to adjust to the relaxation techniques. If after the two weeks you still don’t like it, no problem! Meditation isn’t for everyone, but hey, you gave it a shot, right? You should be proud of yourself for being brave and trying something new.
When you’re ready to try some meditation techniques, follow these 4 simple steps below provided by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM):
- Find a quiet location.
- Use a comfortable posture.
- Focus your attention.
- Keep an open attitude.