Living with Cancer? Six Meditation Tips that Really Help
Wouldn’t it be a relief to set your worries down for a day,
…for an hour
…or even just for one minute?
I don’t know the exact personal challenges you’re facing right now, but I do know one thing…
Stopping to center, breathe, and check in with yourself is a guaranteed ticket to feeling calmer and happier.
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Be still. Breathe. Relax.
If it’s so inviting to slow down for a few minutes in today’s hectic world, why is meditating so hard to prioritize and so hard to do?
If you’re sold on the benefits of meditation and ready to try it, but you feel overwhelmed by how to get started, try these tips to make it a little easier.
#1 – Be Realistic
We’ve all seen meditating monks in the movies or during our travels. Although enlightened in their lives, their meditation practice isn’t a sensible aspiration for most people. We are householders with bills, careers, kids, and often overwhelming responsibilities. They are not. When you first sit down to quiet your mind, be realistic by expecting it to be flooded with thoughts and worries. It’s almost as if sitting down in the quiet invites the thoughts to invade, but noticing what’s happening in your head is a very positive step in the right direction. In fact, this is the first step to learning how to have a clear mind.
#2 – Get Comfortable
Most meditation teachers will tell you the ideal meditation positions are sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor and your spine straight — or — sitting cross-legged on the floor with your spine straight. This has some merit; however, these positions aren’t very comfortable for many people, especially if you are in pain. Give yourself some grace if you’re starting. Let yourself recline or lie down if that feels better. You’ll enjoy the experience much more if your body feels good. If this causes you to fall asleep, try meditating at a different time of day or let yourself enjoy a nice nap. Your body will benefit from the extra sleep!
# 3 – Go Guided
It’s easier for most people to learn to relax their bodies before they learn to relax their minds. Listening to a guided meditation is an excellent way to train your body to be still and relaxed while still allowing your mind to have something to process (i.e., the words in the meditation). We offer a beautiful FREE Guided Meditation for Self-Love During Cancer to help you get started. If you’re ready for more, we also offer a Cancer Empowerment Meditation Bundle with ten cancer-sensitive guided meditations to help you relax and recharge.
# 4 – Use Your Imagination
Guided meditations, sitting, breathing, and allowing your imagination to send a positive emotion, a calming color, or gratitude through your body are very effective meditation tools. This will allow your body to relax without putting too much pressure on your mind to be empty of thoughts.
# 5 – Start Small
Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? Did you start pedaling uphill on your first ride? No. You probably went a few feet in your flat driveway at first. Once that was mastered, you moved to the sidewalk, then eventually to the street, and lastly to the hill. It is the same thing with meditation. If you’re not doing a guided meditation and you’re going to try sitting in silence, set your timer for one minute. Sit, breathe, relax for that one minute. Do that for a few days and then increase it to 3 minutes…then to five minutes…then to eight. It’s all about baby steps.
# 6 – Stick with It
Finding a pattern that works for you is the key to success. A little meditation every day is better than an extended meditation two or three days a week. If it feels hard for you one day or you fall asleep, don’t let that discourage you from trying again the next day or the next day. With some practice, your timer will go off before you’re ready to stop.