June 25, 2013 by
Categories: Coping

Previously I wrote about my belief of seeing life as a series of perfect moments. The way to see life this way is to focus on the present. This is something that has been very challenging for me lately. I’m constantly feeling like I am running out of time as I watch the weeks slip by. As a result, I am constantly bouncing back and forth between focusing on the past and then focusing on the future. The problem with this is focusing on the past brings guilt, shame, and depression. Focusing on the future brings anxiety, fear, and panic.

Image by kiwibird99

Image by kiwibird99

Going back and forth between these extremes has felt as though I am caught in a whirlwind. Spinning between the past and the future and having my thoughts scatter on tangents that may provide an escape, but only prolong focusing on what I need to get done. It’s a horrible process to be caught in.

When I become aware, I try to focus on the eye of that storm: the present. It truly is the only calm spot that exists. It is peaceful. It is contentment. The question is, how does one get there?

The Buddhists and others that practice eastern thought get there through meditation. The simplest form of meditation is to focus on the breath. Since we all have to breathe, it makes sense to take advantage and make as much use out of the process as possible. Sit in a quiet place, breathe deeply and focus on the sensations that accompany breathing: the coolness around the nostrils on the inhale, the warmth on the exhale; the stretching of the chest, and the relaxing. There are many guides out there on how to meditate: there’s really not just one correct way of doing it.

There are a lot of studies that exists on the benefits of meditation. Being able to stop the fight-flight-freeze response is just one of them. Reduction of stress is another. For me, it’s been a huge help in staying at the center of the storm, where it’s calm and complete.

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