Updated: Nov 1, 2019
If you are anything like me and have a busy mind then meditation can be a great way to take your power back and learn to control your mind, rather than letting it control you! Our minds are great at getting carried away often overthinking and dramatising situations leaving us feeling stressed, tired and fearful. The good news is we are not our minds and this mediation will not only help you quiet your mind but it also helps replace any of those not so good feelings with feelings of love and joy instead. This J.A.M. Meditation would have to be my favourite so far and I incorporate it into my morning routine. Within just 5-10 minutes I feel calm, centred and happy to take on the day.
J.A.M. (Joy, Appreciation, Mindfulness)
Step 1 (Joy) - Sit or lay in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath for 1-2 minutes. Don't force your breath, just let it flow naturally while noticing it as it enters and exits your body. Now think of something that makes you happy. It might be a place you love, a holiday you have been on, a goal you achieved.........any situation where you felt truly happy. With a picture of it in your mind focus on your heart centre and feel the joy this picture brings in your heart. Sit with this for 1 minute.
Step 2 (Appreciation) - While focused on the heart centre think of 3 things that you appreciate today. Who or what are your grateful for in your life? It may be as simple as having a roof over your head or being grateful for having a supportive neighbour or friend in your life (don't forget to appreciate yourself too). This produces more feel good chemicals in your brain and helps you to focus on the abundance in your life. You may have heard of a gratitude journal or have seen people posting '100 days of gratitude' on Facebook. This step is based on the same principle and is an amazing way to cultivate a loving and happy heart.
Step 3 (Mindfulness) - 'Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings and thoughts'. Here all you need to do is observe your thoughts, without judging or getting caught up in them. I find it helps to picture my thoughts as clouds in the sky. Instead of getting caught up in their shape, colour or analysing their presence I simply acknowledge them as they appear and let them float on by. Do this for 2-3 minutes then when you are ready, open your eyes. As it gets easier you may find you want to spend more time in this step for deeper relaxation.
If at any stage you find your mind getting really busy or getting lost in your thoughts, simply return your focus to your breath. Each time you do this you anchor your mind and you will find over time that the empty space between your thoughts will increase, calming your mind, body and spirit as you sit in the present moment.