Meditation for Resilience
It’s no secret that life ain’t easy. It can get us down in all kinds of ways, life is creative in that manner. It’s easy to feel like there’s no way out and we’re stuck with whatever has been given to us. We can’t always sort the cards that life deals to us, but we can choose how we react to them. And that is what today’s meditation is all about–finding resilience in the face of adversity. What is resilience? According to google, there’s two definitions, both of which I believe apply to what I’m getting at:
- the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
- the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity
We take the hits life gives out, but we don’t let it give us a lasting impression or keep us down. We take it, we sort it out emotionally (or physically), and we get back up. We are tough and we spring back into shape. Alright, enough talk, let’s get to the meditation. This can take as long as you want, but please try it for at least three minutes and feel free to extend it thereafter.
- Find a place to be still, whether that’s in bed, sitting somewhere, or standing. Find a place where you can close your eyes for a few minutes and not have to worry about other people.
- Take a few breaths. These can be in any style you want, just take a breather.
- Close your eyes and settle your body. Try to find some relaxation.
- Return to the breath. Start to feel it coming in through your nose and notice which parts of the body it affects. Does your chest puff up? What about your stomach? Spend a few moments exploring this.
- Count the breath just for a few breaths: inhale for a count of 3, hold for a count of 3, and exhale for a count of 3. This will help settle you.
- Focus on what gets you through. We have found a sense of grounding and awareness through our breath practice, now let’s focus on resilience. Picture a word, a person, an object, anything that helps you get through difficult times. It could even be the word, “resilience.” Form that in your mind’s eye and focus on it.
- Breathe resilience in. Now, using what you selected from the previous step and keeping it steady in your mind, inhale as if you are drawing that tool within you. Make it so it strengthens your resolve, your toughness, your shining unwillingness to be defeated by life. Let it fill you up.
- Breathe adversity out. Think of what’s been troubling you and with your breath, let it go. Breathe that nastiness out and continue to breathe resilience in. Focus on this inhale/exhale of the good/bad, let it fill you. Do this for as long as you need to.
- End with stress breaths. You’ve gone through your breathing, you’ve shed some of the bad stuff, and absorbed resilience. Let’s end this meditation with three big stress breaths. Inhale as much air as you can and exhale loudly out your mouth, letting your shoulders slouch or whatever natural body reaction you get from that. Do this three times. Let it all go.
I hope facing life after this meditation is a little easier for you. You have all the tools of defeating adversity within you, you just have to dig a little deeper. Always try to find the brightness and fight the darkness. You can handle it and you can succeed. Know your strength and know that you will always bounce back no matter what. If you find yourself getting down or falling into that pit of despair, use this meditation to pull yourself up and out of it. A big part of fitness is mental health, so don’t ignore it! Use meditation to stay hungry and fit!
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