Many of us face stress on a daily basis whether it’s from running your own business, raising a family, taking care of elderly parents, dealing with chronic pain, or all of these combined! Anxiety and depression are also very dominant in our society and can be a heavy burden, affecting our physical and mental health. It can be difficult to find the time, energy and right resources to manage our stress levels effectively, but it is possible. No one is immune to stress or some form of anxiety, but they don’t have to be debilitating. As I’ve dealt with my own stress and trauma, which often left me feeling drained and exhausted, I’ve leaned on the practice of Meditation time and time again.

Meditation has been a part of my life since I was thirteen years old. It all started with a suggestion from a neighbor who noticed I was struggling with anxiety. The night she invited me to attend one of her weekly in-home meditations opened up a whole new world of possibilities, and it changed my life forever. Little did I know that this experience would open my eyes to the power of mindfulness and the potential it had to transform my life—and eventually through me—the life of others!

Now that I run my own spiritual Meditation and Sound Therapy practice, I’ve witnessed first hand the power and benefits of these two practices combined. Over and over, I have seen many clients transform from anxious people to empowered individuals just by incorporating several forms of Meditation into their lives.

Meditation and Sound Therapy are great for reconnecting with our inner selves and tap into our own power of calming the nervous system, reduce challenging emotions, soothe anxiety, feel re energized, and remove overstimulating triggers. However, many people worry that meditation is not for them, or that they simply don’t have time to sit and meditate for hours. The truth is that meditation is accessible to everyone – regardless of lifestyle, background, or experience level. Although we may envision monks in faraway places, meditating on a mountain for hours, we too meditate without even trying. Whether it’s zoning out while listening to music or taking a walk with our dog, these activities can be considered forms of meditation.

The number one worry many people express is the inability to “slow down their minds”, so they imagine Meditation to be an impossible task. Fortunately, it’s possible to train our minds to slow down and not be controlled by ruminating thoughts. With practice and patience, Meditation shows us that our thoughts are not the enemy; they are something we can accept, rather than trying to prevent or reject them.

In my Meditation practice I incorporate Sound Vibrations and Frequencies through healing instruments such as crystal singing bowls, chimes, and drums. This helps practitioners fall into a blissful meditative state and induce a deep theta brain wave state. Theta allows the mind to access the subconscious, reach deeper levels of relaxation, and create an optimal environment for relaxation and healing.

So where to begin with Meditation? Starting with just 5 minutes a day is a great way to tap into Meditation. It is best to meditate at the same time each day, as we are creatures of habit. Set an alarm for 5 minutes, disconnect from all electronics and go into a quiet space. Sitting upright but comfortably, feet on the floor, close your eyes and begin focusing on your breath. Counting each inhale and exhale is helpful if the mind is more active than usual. During these few minutes you’ll experience many thoughts and emotions pulling your attention. That’s okay. The mind is wired to think so it is not possible to shut it down completely. Allow the thoughts to come and as you notice them, accept them, and release them. Simply observe these thoughts without judgment or frustration, and watch them float away like clouds in the sky. Then return the breath. This creates a healthy space between ourselves and our thoughts, and roots us in the present moment, in control of our thoughts and emotions.

Many people find a mantra is beneficial during meditation. A mantra is a repeating phrase that can bring us back to ourselves and the present moment. It can be anything from a favorite quote or a simple statement like “I am here now” or “I am at peace”.

A key element of Meditation is allowing ourselves grace and patience. With practice our Meditation practice will continue to improve and yield positive results. We do not “fail” at Meditation; we simply learn to tap into ourselves, silence, and internal experience. If committed to regularly practicing Meditation it will continue to help us manage stress, anxiety, low self esteem and a whole variety of challenges, both physically and mentally, in a safe and holistic way.

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Tamara is the founder and owner of Luce Bianca, Tampa Bay’s leading practice of Meditation and Sound Therapy. Tamara is certified in Sound Immersion and Vibrational “Bowls On Body” Therapy, Meditation, Guided Visualization therapy, Breathwork, Yoga Nidra, and has completed an extensive Trauma Informed Certification.