How To Meditate on A Roller Coaster Ride

What is the benefit of meditating when you are stressed?

I took the much needed summer day off to spend with my kids. As we were headed to Six Flags, I found myself tense and clenching my jaw thinking of my to do list and clients I needed to get back to.  I then remembered I hadn’t meditated in a few days and could physically feel the stress.

So after our 5th ride, I decided to close my eyes and slowly inhale to the count of four and slowly exhale to the count of four. I did this twice and then imagined the sun’s light healing my entire body. I instantly relaxed.

I must confess it wasn’t a non-stop upside down roller coaster; it was actually the train that goes around really slowly on a track in kiddie land. Still, give me some credit!! The truth is – life kind of feels like a rollercoaster ride sometimes.  Can anyone relate?

The health benefits of meditations are priceless.  According to the Huffington Post recent article, “Meditation Health Benefits: What The Practice Does For Your Body”, studies show that meditation is associated with improvement in a variety of psychological areas, including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function, among others. There’s also research to suggest that meditation can reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels and even cellular health. But what does it actually do to the body?

For one thing, it changes our brain!! The cells and neurons in the brain are constantly making new connections and disrupting old ones based on response to stimuli, a quality that researchers call experience-based neuroplasticity. This affects the neural circuits of the brain, which in turn affects how we respond to situations. It also affects the actual structure of our brains — thickening some areas and making others less dense.

There are a few different ways to meditate. The key is to keep trying different techniques until one feels right to you.  Here are a few suggestions to get started….

  • Set a realistic goal on how many days you want to try to meditate and at what time. I prefer mornings but some love right before bed
  • Try the rollercoaster technique. Inhale to the count of four, hold for the count of two, then exhale slowly to count of 4. Do this until you feel your body relax and zone out. Tip: the more you mediate; the easier it is to do in random places like on a roller coaster.
  • Listen to CD’s. I love Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Mediation Challenge http://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/OnlinePage.aspx?BookId=179. Deepak infuses his wisdom; along with a mantra you can repeat while relaxing music plays in the background.
  • Download an app; there are hundreds to choose from under many different categories like; health, happiness, sleep support, weight loss, depression,  etc.
  • Visit a Buddhist Temple. Most temples invites all religious backgrounds and practice meditation during each service. One popular method is sitting with legs on the floor, hands face up on your lap, while focusing on one spot in front of you while deep breathing.
  • Download my inner health meditation. A relaxing 15-minute meditation focused on rebalancing your immune system by bringing attention to various internal parts of your body.

The key is to not get discouraged, not all mediations are created equal. You may need to try a few styles before finding your inner groove. Just remember all the wonderful benefits, including being able to de-stress no matter where you are.

What’s your favorite way to Destress? Would love your comments below.

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