For many of my clients, the sensation of profound relaxation they experience during the hypnotic trance is a welcome respite from the stress of everyday life. Regular meditation is the ultimate stress-buster. Another helpful technique is grounding.

What is meditation?

Meditation is similar to hypnosis in that you reach a state of focused concentration or awareness. However, meditation is inner directed. While prayer is described as talking to God (whatever you perceive that to be), meditation is described as listening to God.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Regular meditation balances all aspects of the mind and body. One primary benefit is a reduction in stress. Almost immediately, you will find that situations that caused you a great deal of anxiety or frustration will suddenly not bother you at all.

You will also have a great deal more energy and find tasks easy to accomplish. Because your body and mind are tending towards a balanced state, the stressors and anxieties that prevented your being productive will fall away. You will become more focused in all areas of your life. Ultimately, you will find you need less sleep as built-up stress begins to dissipate and less stress is accumulated during your daily life.

With regular meditation, all your systems come into balance. You will effortlessly give up bad habits and acquire new, healthy ones.

Relationships will improve as your own moods and behaviours become more balanced.

Will I suddenly get the urge to live in a cave or join a commune?

Meditation is a technique, not a philosophy or religion and can be practiced by anyone without alteration to lifestyle. The changes you experience are only towards your greater good- more balance, more peace, less stress.

Is meditation hard?

Meditation is very simple and is best when inner-directed. I teach my clients Ana Pana Yoga, an ancient technique that uses a focus on your breath.

Before you begin meditating, there are a couple of things to be aware of. Choose a place where you will not be disturbed by people, pets, or phones. Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands loose on your legs or the arms of your chair.

Fifteen minutes twice daily (morning and after work) is a good amount of time to meditate. In the beginning, you may want to wear a watch or have a clock close by. Check the time by glancing quickly at the clock. Very soon you will be able to meditate for just the right amount of time without using the clock.

It is best to meditate before a meal as your metabolism slows dramatically during meditation, which may interfere with digestion (remember those warnings about going swimming right after eating—not just old wives’ tales).

If you are interrupted, tend to the situation and then return to your meditation, adding another five minutes to your session.

Ana Pana Yoga

Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a couple of deep breaths. Focus on the sensation of your breath, feel the air coming into your nostrils, into your nose. It is not necessary to alter your rate of breathing.

As you focus on your breathing, your mind will wander. When you become aware your mind has wandered, gently return your focus to your breathing. Repeat for fifteen minutes. Slowly open your eyes.

Some Notes

Many people feel they should meditate “perfectly,” or they are not “achieving results.” Meditation is a process, not a behaviour. Rest assured that change is occurring if you just gently return to your breath whenever you become aware that your mind is wandering.

You may experience some physical phenomena as your body releases stress- muscle twitches, eyes popping open, etc. These phenomena are normal; just ignore them.

Stressful memories from the past may come to mind as they are released or processed. Let them come and let them go. Remember that your body/mind is seeking balance and part of that process is ridding yourself of “baggage.”