Most people are finding the stress of living, increasing significantly with every year that passes. Among the worries is politics, war, terrorism, the economy, money, the environment and jobs, among other things. There are various coping mechanisms that individuals use to deal with this stress, but many of them, like alcohol and other drug abuse are not in their best interest. However, there is a growing percentage of people who are choosing guided meditation, instead.
Meditation is thousands of years old and has played a part in all the great living religions, but it does not have to be a religious act. It is a way of quieting the mind and allowing the various parts of the brain to synchronize with each other, instead of being scattered. It also gives the mind a break from either, the internal dialogue we constantly have with ourselves, or outside stimuli.
In traditional meditation, you let go off all thoughts and concentrate on one thing. It may be a mantra, (a special sound, word or phrase), or a koan, (a kind of riddle without an answer, like, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Or, it could simply be your breathing that is the subject of your focus.
When a thought comes up that is other than what your focus is on, you simply accept that it happened & let it go, and refocus. You may get aggravated with how often this happens at first, but don’t worry about it. Without having a teacher, most people get discouraged by this lack of mental discipline, and end up quitting.
This is where guided meditation can be a life saver. The guidance could be live, as in, a teacher in a class setting; but it is usually recorded audio. It generally starts out with step by step instructions to help the individual achieve a meditative state of mind. This is marked by the brain producing mostly alpha waves, which is the state of mind one is in when one first starts to drift to sleep.
The guided meditation will usually then transition into a visualization and story where you see yourself, in your mind’s eye, accomplishing specific goals that you have committed to. The most powerful of these meditations will ask you to imagine your goals are already accomplished and feel the emotions that come with that.
Many successful people tell how guided meditations played a vital role in their accomplishments. It is a step away from classic meditation, which does not allow for outside stimuli, but can help develop the mental discipline to achieve that, if you choose. It is a blend of stress relieving meditation with task oriented hypnotic induction which allows you to program your mind for success.