Meditation and Mental Wellbeing (Development and Maintenance)

I read somewhere on “the socials” this week that 2021 is just 2020 with a cute, new haircut… and while it’s not Jung, Confucius, or Thích Nhất Hạnh, it’s relevant and profound. Why don’t most New Years Resolution’s last throughout the year? Why do we impulsively sign up to that expensive Gym Membership with grand plans of changing our lifestyle in a heartbeat? Why are “bad” habits so hard to break? And how can we develop and maintain a Mental Wellness routine with longevity in mind? In this article, I’ll be discussing just that.

As an introvert and empath, I’ve always struggled around this time of year. Constant social interaction over Christmas and the New Year. In my circle, everyone’s birthday seems to fall in between late December and early Jan! Packed shopping centres with people flooding to purchase the newest gadgets and the latest sneakers; it’s a marathon! Suddenly, I find myself taking on other people’s nervous energy as well as my own and when did I suddenly stop my self-care routine and find this sudden urge to keep up with the Kardashians/Jones’s/whatever’s? After the holiday mayhem passed, I collected and compartmentalised my thoughts, and this is what I found. (Note: extroverts read on; this applies to you too!)

Big sudden changes don’t work! Avoid making them!

The brain is a muscle, just like your abs. If you go hard and try to workout like a machine on Week 1, you’re going to find yourself in a load of pain and burnt out before you’re able to actually enjoy the progress you’re making on your wellbeing journey. Small, incremental steps are best when it comes to developing any routine. Instead of planning a regime of hour long, daily meditation sessions, begin with 5 minutes when you wake and before you sleep. Then, gradually build on that when you know you’re ready to. So let’s talk development and maintenance. Where do we begin?

Get creative! This routine is of your creation!

Dedicating a personal space in my home has been one of the best things I’ve done to contribute to a more effective Meditation routine. I’m lucky enough now to be able to dedicate an entire room to this space but when I began, it was in a small corner of my bedroom; and it was a game-changer! A space filled with lush fabric, oracle decks, crystals, candles, incense and feel good books. Another option is a quiet space outdoors, amongst a garden and tranquil scenery. I added a personal flourish to my self-care routine and I truly encourage you to do the same. Where energy goes, results flow!

Experiment! One style doesn’t fit all.

All styles aim to elicit a meditative state; where we’re focused and calm, our emotions are under control and we’re consciously aware of our actions and reactions. That said, what works for one person may not work as well for another. This is because we’re unique and our learning styles all vary. Where one may learn kinaesthetically (by doing) another may learn by watching and another by listening; or varying degrees of all three. There are many common misconceptions about what meditation is, so seek to play and you shall find.

What happens if you just can’t get into it or you “fall off the horse”?

You jump back on, of course! Incorporating consciously aware, mindful moments into your daily life is a wonderful way to normalise healthier habits – until it becomes so ingrained that a meditative state just becomes a part of you. Except for when you’re operating machinery, that is!

Where and how can we begin to practice these ‘mindful moments’?
1) In our interpersonal relationships and our relationship with self.
When our nervous systems aren’t regulated, our relationships tend to be more strained than usual. This might look something like this:
– Moodiness and ‘snapping’ easily
– A shorter tolerance to challenging situations
– Taking things personally
– Thinking negatively
– Feeling as if everything that could go wrong, does go wrong
It’s very helpful to Practice the Pause. That is, pausing before we yell, or project our negative emotions onto others or deeper into ourselves. We can do this by moving into four long seconds of deep belly breathing. This simple act of deep breathing sends an immediate message to our Parasympathetic Nervous system which then works with our Sympathetic Nervous system to communicate messages of safety and relaxation throughout. Please see my blog for a basic understanding of the Stress response, here https://danieladlspiteri.com.au/2020/12/15/stress-cause-effect-and-clarity-a-mindbody-approach/ Practicing the Pause in challenging interpersonal situations is beneficial to both ourselves and others.

2) Tune in and listen to your body’s needs. Regularly checking our Emotional Barometer is a powerfully helpful technique in really getting to know and regulate our nervous system. You might like to do this by simply asking “How am I feeling?” regularly throughout the day, keeping a diary/journal handy or using a scaling system. If we find our emotions are in “the red zone”, then we know we need to ground and regulate. Meditating is the best way to do this, however if that seems too overwhelming, here are some simple things we can do more of, until the idea of meditating seems doable:
– Work with The Vagus Nerve to elicit a sense of safety by taking cold showers, or merely splashing cold water on our face.
– Singing and dancing. Working somatically – moving nervous energy out of our system is incredibly useful!
– Box breathing. To learn about this technique, click here – https://www.facebook.com/danieladeniselouise/posts/619925428693067
– Getting out of our heads and into nature. Get barefoot and get grounded.

And finally, be kind to and forgiving of yourself! Mental conditioning isn’t easy to break free from.

Mental Conditioning is a form of belief’s which have been instilled into us from birth and form the first part of our lives. For a majority of us, this system of belief’s was far from positive and may have contributed to a great deal of our perceived suffering. However, our caregivers did their best and considering you’re awake to this fact, your wellness is of your creation. Your wellness is of your choosing! Holding on to feelings of guilt for dropping off schedule isn’t benefiting you or those around you. Find peace in the fact that this is a process. We fall. We rise. We learn.

Yours in wellness and empowerment,

Daniela x

~

To book a class, visit here – https://www.trybooking.com/BNVVB Please note that I am not a trained medical professional and as it stands I do not work with complex, unhealed trauma, but I am happy to direct you to seek a referral.

Back On Track Healing Services would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the Traditional Custodians of this land (Kulin Nation) and thus pay their deepest respects.

Welcome! Let’s kick off by discussing what to do when healing seems too overwhelming!

Welcome to Back On Track Healing Services. My name is Daniela D.L. Spiteri and I envision a world where everybody, no matter their gender, race or socioeconomic status can access their innate healing abilities. Currently, I’m working towards this goal by offering regular Meditation sessions, hosting informative speaking events/webinars and facilitating support groups and the following courses;

  • Basic Meditation
  • Meditation & Self Development
  • Teenage Meditation
  • Seniors Discovery
  • Stress Management (for families or in the workplace)

(I will continue to offer scholarship spots in the above courses for those who genuinely need it)

My dream is to expand my small business to a large organisation which provides affordable and genuine support for those wishing to access natural therapies which improve and deepen ones quality of life.

Everyone gets knocked off track sometimes. Whether it be due to chronic illness, addiction, toxic relationships with partners, colleagues or family & friends; we all deserve a helping hand to nudge us back on track.

With that said, where do we begin? We’ve been ‘through the wringer’. We’ve experienced deep pain (emotional and/or physical) and we know we need to make a change. The coping mechanisms we used to rely on have outgrown us but handling the ‘baggage’ feels a bit too heavy for us to bare right now… and it is – if we carry it alone. This is when we need to go back to basics, and here’s how;-

  1. Reach out for help. Many studies have suggested that as we’re social creatures, validation and support from our social group is imperative for us to thrive in life. However in some cases, our conditioning (a system of beliefs we took upon ourselves to adopt unconsciously as children, under the influence of our main care givers) can often result in us believing that we’re unworthy for help and in many situations this is why some may find it near impossible to reach out to their loved ones or trained mental health professionals. In other situations, there may not be a group of trustworthy people to reach out to. If either of theses are the case… and it’s too hard still;
  2. Find opportunities to connect with people in environments which you know will contribute to your well-being. You may find these people in the following places: Gyms, Community Centres, Youth Groups, Parent groups, Playgroups, some Churches or faith groups, Sports clubs… and if that’s not yet possible;
  3. Use the natural world to help ground you! When endless negative thought patterns seem to stir in your head, dropping back into your body and the world around you is a simple yet effective tool. Take off your shoes and step onto the ground. This could be anywhere; the beach, the park, or your own backyard! Bring your attention to the soles of your feet. How do they feel? As your feet find their balance on the ground beneath, how do you feel knowing that the ground is here to support you? Find subtle moments to connect with the natural world as you sway gently, with ease. Soften your joints – ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and neck. Then bring your attention to what you see. Look around, with ease. This is where you are. Here, in this moment. From out of your head and into the natural world around you. Take a moment to appreciate what you see. As you sway gently, so too do the leaves which hang from the branches of the trees. Take a moment to consider which natural element supports the leaves to sway, gently. Now you can bring your attention to your other senses. What do you smell? Home-cooking from a house nearby? The scent of a freshly mowed lawn? The sea-breeze? Consider the process of nature making it’s way into your experience. What can you hear? The song of birds? Splashing waves? Children playing?

    Allow yourself to drop in and out of your sense perception and consider your part in the natural world. Remember that you, too go through the motions, for you are a part of the ebb & flow of the natural world. You belong and you’re precisely where you need to be.

To get in touch, please use the form below.

Be well,

DDL x