Meditation, Relaxation & Mental Focus

meditation, relaxation, mental focus, concentration, de-stress, wind down, relaxMore than 35 years ago now I learned meditation and self-hypnosis techniques to help me sleep, relax and de-stress.

I found that at the end of the day, when my head hit the pillow, rather than allowing myself to fall asleep I would indulge in a post mortem of the day. I would endlessly go over events that had occurred, looking at things I had done and conversations I had had in an effort to improve what I had done or said – a little obsessive to say the least but I was very keen then to get things right and not make mistakes.

This is an experience referred to in Zen Meditation as the ‘Monkey Mind’ and it is something many people are prone to either in their daily lives, or when they are trying to fall asleep. That incessant chattering internal dialogue that is often anxious and usually contains negative thoughts of one sort or another.

Today, working as a hypnotherapist, I help people resolve a variety of mental, emotional and behavioural problems. I help people to manage stress and anxiety, negotiate and resolve inner conflict, to be more relaxed and also to enjoy better, more refreshing sleep.

During my career I have run meditation classes, and relaxation and stress management workshops. I have taught city traders and company executives how to relax, and I have shared some of the most effective meditation and self-hypnosis techniques with my therapy and coaching clients and students.

Meditation is not hard to learn and after just a few sessions you will be able to understand and use the basics techniques. With a little practise you will find yourself able to relax deeply and easily, sleep better, and to stay calmer and generally be more relaxed. You will also learn how to focus your mind and concentrate more effectively.

In the past I have often discussed the concept of being ‘in the zone’ with sportsmen and athletes. That special state they strive for where mind and body work in harmony and they are able to perform at the peak of their ability. In my role as performance coach I generally highlight the fact that there is always a big chunk of relaxation present in peak performance states. An athlete uses his muscles yet finds that if he is tense or anxious and holds too much physical or mental tension he will be unable to perform to the best of his ability. Physical and mental tension are both debilitating and will use energy quicker and less efficiently.

When I worked in the City with traders and hedge fund managers I recommended that they practise meditation (relaxation or self-hypnosis) techniques on a daily basis as sudden emotional shifts, particularly when becoming anxious or worried about their position usually lead to mistakes and a financial loss.

There are added health benefits associated with meditation.

Meditation and hypnosis can both be very effective for lowering high blood pressure. Gently slipping into a relaxed state of trance is comfortable and soothing. Deeply relaxed states not only tend to help lower blood pressure, they are a great way of re-charging the batteries and creating more energy. I have often noticed that half an hour spent in trance can be equal to several hours of restful and refreshing sleep.

Trance states are also a great way to distract oneself from ongoing chronic pain associated with conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis or rheumatism. One of my favourite techniques when working with clients to help them manage pain is the ‘inner Sanctuary,’ a self created place of inner retreat to escape to for a while.

Many people are amazed at how much more control they are able to gain over how they feel, turning negative feelings into positive ones, feeling happier and enjoying life even more.
 
MEDITATION, RELAXATION AND MENTAL FOCUS

Monthly courses and weekly group sessions.  

LINK TO GUARDIAN ARTICLE ON INSOMNIA