Look around and you will find reasons to throw in the towel. From your neighbourhood to your schoolyard, to your social media feed, there is a constant source of self-loathing and self-doubt.
Friends’ galleries of accomplishments may remind you of how far you are from the finish line. Celebrities’ songs may make you feel socially insignificant. And the news about the economy and the decline of the naira can dim your hope even further.
It’s more demoralizing if you’re young, ambitious, and want to make something worthwhile out of yourself.
- Built your confidence,
- Improved your decision-making ability,
- Become independent,
- Stopped relying on ‘things’ to feel happiness,
- Learned to Love yourself, others, and the world,
- Decide who you want to be (your career path), and how you want to get there.
However, occasionally you feel like a horse dung and slip into anxiety and become gloomy about everything.
I have often reached the point where I wanted to give up on my ideas and quit. But I have always found a way to keep moving forward.
I write to stay grounded, but MEDITATION has been my compass. It guides me out of the darkness whenever my mind wanders far into a momentary abyss of worries. Then it helps me align with my desires.
Meditation is a mind-training practice that uses techniques such as mindfulness to focus the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – a way to disconnect from the jabbering, yammering, and squabbling of your mind.
Done right, it can help you focus your thoughts on things that are soothing and even empowering, leading to mental clarity and an emotional calm state.
Why You Should Meditate
Your mind is like a mobile phone. When you have too many apps running or too much data stored on it, it starts to slow down and become less efficient. The same thing happens to your mind when it is cluttered with thoughts, emotions, and worries.
Meditation is a process of decluttering your mind, focusing on the present moment and letting go of all the unnecessary thoughts and emotions that are clogging up your mind.
When you meditate properly and regularly, your mind becomes cleaner, clearer, and calmer.
But failure to do so:
- You feel anxious, stressed and traumatized.
- You will lack focus and concentration like a sleep-deprived parent.
- You will experience a regular mood and emotional swing like a teenager on a sugar rush.
- Insomnia might take over which will lead to more pain like cardiovascular disease and mental illness.
And all that was mentioned is not a joke – A life-threatening situation you must know. However, meditation practice can have a positive impact on your life, I’m sure.
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Why You Need Music to Meditate
Music has been a part of human culture for as long as we can remember. It’s used for entertainment, communication, rituals, ceremonies, therapy, and education.
And meditation, which has its roots in Asian cultures, has also become popular in the West, and Africa, in recent years, for both spiritual and non-spiritual reasons.
Music and meditation are like two peas in a pod, or should I say, two chakras in a chakra? When combined can produce tremendous results for improving your well-being. Because meditation with music can help:
- Soothe your nervous system and reduce stress levels.
- Provide a steady rhythm that you can match your breath to.
- Focus on attention to the present moment and block out distractions.
- Create a sense of peace and tranquillity.
- Create a more vivid and immersive mental picture.
- Music to evoke a particular emotion. For example, if you are working on forgiveness, you might choose to listen to music that evokes feelings of compassion and understanding.
Understand: not all music is conducive to meditation.
Instead, choose instrumental music that is calming, relaxing and lyric-free. Some popular genres of music for meditation include:
- Classical music
- Ambient music
- Nature sounds
It would be difficult to sit or lie calmly with your headphones blasting loudly, to Odumudublack’s or Rema’s music. It’s like trying to fall asleep while someone is playing the drums next to your ears.
How I Meditate With Music For A More Mindful Life
I have tried many music meditation techniques, but this one is my favourite.
- Step 1: Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Step 2: put on music. Something smooth and calm (I enjoy the Japanese flute, piano and violin). You can find plenty of these on YouTube and Spotify.
- Step 3: sit with your back against the wall or lie down, face up, eyes closed. This is to get you in a comfortable and relaxed position.
- Step 4: smile, take a few deep breaths, focus on your breath, and imagine yourself in a peaceful and beautiful place. I like imagining myself floating in space, surrounded by galaxies and rays of light. Other times, I picture myself living my dream. The idea is; to let your imagination be a reflection of your inner self-love, self-compassion, and kindness.
- Step 5: when unwanted thoughts slip in, you don’t fight them or label them as negative. you simply acknowledge them and let them go.
The interpretation you give your thoughts influences how you feel about them.
Think about a rotten fruit; you will feel disgust and nausea.
Think that you are ugly; you will feel ashamed and nervous.
Think about paradise; you will feel like an angel riding a unicorn – awesome and unique.
Your thoughts are only as real as you make them.
So that’s it!
My meditation practice.
After just a few minutes of meditation, I usually find my heart lighter and my willpower stronger.
So, give it a try.
However, It is okay to experiment with different types of music to find what works best for you. Maybe, listen to different types of music at different stages of your meditation practice.
For example, you might listen to more upbeat music at the beginning of your meditation to help you focus and relax, and then switch to more calming music at the end of your meditation to help you wind down.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find music that helps you to achieve a deep and meaningful meditation experience.
Also, don’t worry about how long you meditate. With the help of music, you’ll be surprised how far you can go and how quickly your resolve will boost.
What Meditation Isn’t
There is no ideal time for meditation. Meditate until it no longer feels like a routine, but rather a way of life. A skill that you can use anywhere, anytime, as needed.
Meditation may not fix your emotional or spiritual turmoil forever, but it can lighten your mental burden, improve your mental health, and boost your energy, enabling you to undertake daily activities with vigour and clarity.
Meditation is a burning wood in the darkness of life. It is meant to be a habitual practice, performed as frequently as the cold darkness appears.
Conclusion: Keep Moving Forward
As you embark on your meditation journey be mindful of this;
Life is a dynamic thing.
It’s both beauty and terror.
No feeling or experience is final.
So just let it all happen to you, and keep moving forward through meditation.
I look forward to hearing about your experience with this technique, and if you find something more effective, please share your thoughts in the comments.
Here are some other content you might find helpful:
- Why Are We Talking About Mental Health (In Nigeria)?
- How To Stop Worrying About Everything [5 Timeless Tips]
- 60 Big And Small Things To Be Grateful For Every Day [Even When Things Are Tough]
- You’re a Product of Your Beliefs [This Is How To Ensure Your Beliefs Are True And Helpful].
- How To Live Happily: A Short Book About Living A Happy, And A Meaningful Life [Free ebook PDF]
A mindful self-help writer and photographer