For those of you that have been following my blog for any length of time, you’ve become familiar with my music preferences: high energy regardless of genre. However, sometimes we need to slow down not just our bodies, but our minds as well.
This is where meditation can be very helpful, particularly guided meditation. It is easy to allow the brain to hijack the mind. I don’t think it’s just Bipolar that can do this either. PTSD, ADHD, Schizophrenia, anxiety, depression – all of those disorders and more can hijack the mind and send us spiraling around in a sea of chaos in our heads.
The purpose of meditation is to break that spiral of thoughts and create an inner life raft or anchor for ourselves.
And as someone that strongly values music therapy, I tend to lean towards music that provides guided meditation. It’s not enough for me to listen to soft, gentle music. My mind likes to run wild. Period. So having music that has vocals to guide the mind where I want to be for the moment is useful.
Having said that, music alone isn’t enough for one’s tool box. Sometimes, I simply don’t have music available when I need it. This is where having mantras planned ahead of time is good. Then it doesn’t matter where you are or what’s going on, a single moment of mindfulness is available to you to reset and refocus the mind.
For example, I like the simple phrase, “I am here.” It immediately directs my mind to the question, “What does it mean to be here?” The answer varies with the situation at hand. I know this might sound odd, but sometimes it’s enough to reaffirm to myself that I am a real person, with valid feelings, experiencing whatever it is I’m experiencing. More often than not, it helps me to refocus on what I should be doing rather than whatever disruptive thing it is my brain wants to obsess over.
The point is, the purpose of guided meditation gives the mind something specific to focus your thoughts on. It can be an image, a loved one, a phrase, a song, or a combination of these things. It doesn’t matter what you pick so long as it breaks you away from the spiral going on in your head. When used in absence of a spiral, it can create a mental buffer to bolster you through out the rest of your day.
So this weekend, I’m opening the playlist with a guided meditation video by The Rewired Soul. In the video he briefly talks about how meditation works and the meditation he guides you through is aimed at self-compassion. Any time we are drowning in negative self talk it is easy to let compassion for ourselves to fall to the wayside. We forget what it feels like to have that for ourselves.
I honestly had never thought to try this with self-compassion before watching this video. It brought tears to my eyes to discover I am capable of directing what I feel for my sons towards myself.
The rest of this weekend’s playlist features selected tracks from Shaina Noll. Each piece in the list has meditative lyrics to focus on.