Are you feeling stressed like me? This whole COVID pandemic has been too much. There is so much to worry about.
Working in the beauty industry as an esthetician, nail tech and makeup artist has been really tough for the past year. Clients are hesitant to come into the salon even though there is a health screening at the door, masks are mandatory, we are spraying everything with disinfectant, and there are plexiglass shields on our nail tables. I'm not sure business will ever return to what it once was.
Weddings have been postponed or cancelled. But, I still have all those house bills to pay, mouths to feed and household supplies to buy. I am hanging on by a thread. Good thing my husband's work is going okay.
Speaking of weddings, we have our own wedding concerns. Our daughter's fall wedding is fast approaching and the wedding venue is only at 25% capacity at this point. My daughter is okay with a small wedding but that's very small!!!
Then, there is the worry about family and friends possibly getting sick with the virus. At least that worry is subsiding a bit since many people I know have been vaccinated. But, that worry is quickly being replaced by the worry of the possibility of long term side effects down the road from the vaccine. The vaccine hasn't been around very long and received emergency use authorization, after all. Plus, the COVID vaccine manufacturers have been granted immunity from liability by the federal government which is quite scary!
But wait, there's more! My hair is falling out at an alarming rate since I had COVID 3 months ago! That's an important upcoming post for another day.
Anyway, I know we are not supposed to worry or be anxious about anything but the stress factors are crazy right now! Stress and anxiety steal our beauty and our sleep away. They cause health issues and also interfere with being creative and focusing on new possibilities. I need a way to calm down.
Meditation is a great way to reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, improve heath issues and increase mental clarity.
I need all of that and then some!
I want to meditate. I really do. The problem is, I have never been able to meditate effectively. It's been years of off and on trying. My thoughts take over the thing I am supposed to be focusing on.
Mantra meditation. Forget it. The chant bores me and my mind becomes fully engaged with the thoughts and plans of the day.
Focused meditation. Nope. Focusing only on breathing makes me start wondering if my breathing and heart rate are normal. Am I breathing too fast or too slow? Should I be doing square breathing? You get the picture. It actually creates anxiety for me.
Visualization meditation. My positive images, which are usually related to the beach, only hold my focus a short time. Before long, I am planning the dinner menu and shopping list instead of resting my mind.
I didn't think I could ever get the meditation thing down.
But I have!!!
I am pleased to announce, I have found a form of meditation that works for me! I have just discovered it recently.
I'm feeling less anxiety and am already sleeping a little better.
It just may solve your meditation problems as well.
It is Mindfulness Sound Meditation!
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What is Mindfulness Sound Meditation?
Sound meditation is mindfulness meditation with the focus of your attention on everyday sounds. So simple and so effective!
Here's how it goes.
You can do this meditation style anywhere. You focus on the sounds around you.
It can be the sounds in your house, the sounds outside, sounds at work, the sounds on the bus or train or sounds in a sound meditation video. It can be a guided sound meditation video where the sound of a person's voice guides you through the video. These are sounds that generally don't have a specific pattern. They are more random sounds that you can't predict.
When you hear a sound, you listen to it without judgement. For example, you hear a bird singing. Listen to the bird without trying to figure out what kind of bird it is, what sound it is going to make next or if you like it's sound or not. Just hear it and be aware of the sound. Then listen for more sounds.
Maybe you hear a lawn mower. Is it an annoying sound? Usually yes! This time don't judge it. Hear it, acknowledge it, then move on listening for other sounds. Hey, I'm just thinking a sound meditation video in some ear buds would be great while having work done the dentist's chair!!!
If a thought comes to your mind, acknowledge it but don't get caught up in it. Refocus on sound. Listen for more sounds and let the thought drift away.
It's that simple. I can't tell you how great this works for me!!!
I end up totally focusing on sound without my mind racing off in 100 directions! Yes, I'm meditating!
Step by Step Mindfulness Sound Meditation
Get comfortable sitting, reclining or lying down. Choose a place where you won't be disturbed. You can also just get as comfortable as possible where you are such as if you are sitting in your chair at work.
Determine how long you would like to meditate. Start out with a 5 or 10 minute session to get the hang of it. Set a timer or find a sound meditation video that is the length of time you would like to meditate.
Close your eyes. Having your eyes closed helps you focus on sound and eliminates any visual distractions. Use an eye pillow to apply light pressure to the eyes increasing relaxation and blocking out light.
Start by taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the rise and fall of the chest and stomach letting your body begin to relax.
Now focus your attention on listening for sounds. Don't judge them. Just hear them and be aware of them. If a thought pops in your mind, be aware of it, don't dwell on it, refocus your attention on sounds letting the thought go.
End your sound meditation session by focusing on deep breathing as you did at the start of the meditation session.
Open your eyes and reflect on the sounds you heard.
If you would like, write down the different sounds you heard in your session. Use a pretty journal to keep a log to look back on. It is interesting to see what sounds you heard at different times of day. Sometimes, the time of day you think is the most quiet reveals the most interesting sounds! A pretty journal is a great Mother's Day Gift too!
That's it. It is simple and works great to calm my restless mind. Try it! It may work well for you too!
I have made a 10 Minute Mindfulness Sound Meditation Video that focuses on one of my favorite sounds, my wind chime. It is in the soothing Mongolian Mezzo scale.
I will guide you a bit in the meditation video to get you started and then again to bring you to the end of your session. I made this video for you and for me to calm us and improve our mental clarity.
I have a lot more sounds I want to focus on so there will be a variety of Sound Meditation Videos on my YouTube Channel for you to use whenever you need to bring your anxiety level down. Be sure to subscribe to my channel to see them as soon as they are published.
The Take Away
Mindfulness Sound Meditation is an easy way to meditate. It focuses on everyday sounds and can be done anywhere, anytime. It teaches you how to dismiss thoughts, rest the mind and refocus your attention. It offers all the benefits of other forms of meditation offer such as stress and anxiety reduction, better sleep, mental clarity, better focus and lower blood pressure. I know we all need that right now!
Stay Healthy, Be Kind and Have a Beautiful Day!