There may come a time when all of your usual stress-reduction tools aren’t enough; when you’ve amped up your meditation, your health and self care practices but anxiety, overwhelm, and worries still persist.
That’s been me during the spread of the coronavirus in my state of Washington. It has tested my best techniques for managing stress, but most of all it’s been a good reminder to use my faith-based muscle, especially when the experts seem to be two steps behind- Oh, did I say that out loud?
I’m one of those at risk because of my chronic autoimmune illness: Rheumatoid Arthritis .
The last thing any of us needs is additional stress no matter how this virus plays out.
Some people are more concerned than others, but it got me thinking about what people do when they are faced with something beyond their scope for handling major disruptions in their life.
Worried about Coronavirus or not, Italy and China are on lockdown. Millions of people are being quarantined. This is stressful even without a virus circulating! Got cabin fever?
And it may not be a random virus that interrupts your life or a tornado in Tennessee, but there will be some things you’ll face that will test you. Then what?
Meditation and Faith:
In mindfulness meditation, you have an “anchor”, or center, that you come back to each time your mind runs wild.
Typically the anchor is your breath.
Mindfulness meditation is a cycle of thoughts and then coming back to focus on your breath over and over again, and this calms you, otherwise we’re a cluster-f*ck in L.A. traffic.
In life, we should have an anchor too; we need a center in meditation and in life…that one thing to come back to when things are spiraling.
We get into trouble when we start trying to handle everything ourselves…said every mother (or anyone) juggling a full life.
We’ve made such a big deal about self-help that we’ve gotten used to the idea of being our own savior, relying on ourselves or dumping on others far too much in my opinion.
So when sh*t hits the fan, we have no anchor, no one or nothing above our pay grade just in case we fail ourselves. This causes unnecessary pressure, stress, and expectations on us and our loved ones.
Right now we have the top experts on this coronavirus and they’ve failed us in a lot of ways from prepping to testing.
Our Governor in Washington ended his address to the public with, “use your own individual judgment”. That’s a little unsettling when we typically look to the experts to guide us. But there’s a bigger picture here…
With faith, you’re trusting in a higher power outside of yourself.
Just as breath is the center of your meditation practice, faith in something is the center of our being and our lives, the thing we can rely on when everything else is simply not enough or when we don’t have all the answers. It’s also something that can guide us continuously, everyday when we put it into practice.
How to Implement Faith-Based Meditation Practices Into Your Life:
- Meditation is often associated with Eastern religions or New Age practices, but if you are Christian or Christ-believing then you can meditate by opening up your Bible and reading a verse. In this case, you won’t be dumping your mind as in traditional meditation, you’ll be filling it and saturating it with powerful stuff that speaks to you. God’s words to Joshua: “Keep this Book…meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Psalms, Proverbs, and Ephesians have thoughtful verses. You can also try a Podcast like christianmeditationpodcast.com by a Chaplain to help people find more peace in their lives. Prayer can be a meditation too.
- Using faith-based mantras during meditation, such as, ‘I believe in miracles’. ‘Highest good’. ‘I can do all things through Christ.’ ‘I am not alone’. ‘I am new’. ‘Be still’. (Guided Christian Meditations)
- Letting go is powerful although it seems counterintuitive when control feels like power…until it isn’t. The stress of white-knuckling life takes a toll on us. Practice letting go in meditation: If you are a physical type of person, try lying down and tensing up each and every body part and/or muscle you can think of from head to toe. After each one, tensing your toes for instance, release and let go. If you are an emotional/intellectual (in your head) type of person. Imagine filling a big hot air balloon full of all your current worries or problems. Hop into the hot air balloon and as you go up…and up, let go of those worries one by one and with each one you let go repeat something like, ‘letting go, feeling lighter’, and wait until you feel lighter to move onto the next one until you have let them all go and you are floating freely, peacefully.
- Faith doesn’t have to be associated with organized religion. The Law Of Attraction author, Rhonda Byrne, says, “Trust the universe. Trust and believe and have faith.” Gabby Bernstein, author and spiritual guru preaches that the ‘universe has your back’. You are a co-creator. You must work in harmony with the guiding force of the universe and to do this, focus on what you want and how you want to feel. Meditate on that rather than all the things that could go wrong.
- In times of high stress, we tend to disconnect from our bodies because all our energy is spent on mental anxiety and worries in our mind. This is why people who have chronic stress may get a chronic illness. They’re all up in their head for a prolonged time and have ignored the body’s signals of distress. One thing I’ve found so helpful for connecting with your body during stressful situations is Energy medicine. I’ve studied a couple different types of Energy Medicine and the one I love most (it works too!) that gives you tools for the mind-body connection and even super-charged immunity (immune systems are affected by mental stress) is Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine. (For immunity against the Coronavirus)
Don’t forget, faith is a lifelong practice!
Peace and *****BE WELL*****