Thinking about getting into meditation? Read this first

Research shows chronic, sustained stress can take a huge toll on our health, and as long as we are living, we are guaranteed to experience stress. Because of this, it is greatly beneficial to find an activity that helps you relax and get out of that fight-or-flight response. I have tried a lot of different things such as exercise, deep breathing techniques, reading, yoga, and meditation with varied stress-reducing success. I always read about the awesome health effects of meditation, but it was hard for me to get into the routine of meditating consistently because I felt like I was bad at it. I thought I was supposed to turn my brain off and just sit in silence, and that was never going to happen for me. My millennial, overstimulated brain wouldn’t let me do that.

Then, I read Vishen Lakhiani’s book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. I appreciated that the author, a meditation guru, stated that (for most people) it is impossible to meditate like a monk. We have busy lives and asking our brains to turn off is not realistic, so he developed an active meditation practice called 6 Phase Meditation. The 6 Phase Meditation is broken into 6 sections:

  1. Connection: focus on your consciousness connecting with every other living thing on Earth.
  2. Gratitude: go through 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for in your personal life, 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for in your business life, and 3 to 5 things that you are grateful for about yourself.
  3. Forgiveness: recall a conflict, re-live it for a minute, ask for forgiveness, and forgive the other person for wronging you.
  4. Visualizing Your Perfect Future: visualize how your life will be in 3 years focusing on how you will grow, what you will contribute, and what experiences you will have.
  5. Daily Intention: visualize your day’s activities unfolding perfectly so that you are on your path to your perfect 3-year future.
  6. Blessing: call on your higher power or inner strength to help guide and support you in your day so that you can achieve your perfect future.

The 6 Phase Meditation has been effective for me because my mind can actively think while meditating. It is nice because you get the benefits of not just meditation, but also gratitude, forgiveness and visualization. Pass this along to someone you know who needs a little stress relief, who is thinking about beginning meditation, or who wants to meditate but thinks that they can’t. The 6 Phase has made it easy for me to make meditation a part of my morning routine.