Many of our clients at One Good* Day practice the art of meditation to manage their psychosocial disability. With meditation, you can ground and centre yourself to tune into your own body; therefore, it’s no wonder so many people seek its valuable benefits for their mental health.
Meditation can improve the quality of your wellbeing, but like anything new, it’s important to find a way to do it that feels good for you and your recovery journey. It’s not just sitting on a pillow, clearing your mind and hoping for peace to arrive – there are many different styles, methods and benefits to meditation, so let’s explore this ancient practice together.
What is meditation?
Essentially, meditation is a practice where you use a technique (like the ones listed below) to train your attention, calm your mind and bring awareness to your physical body. Depending on the style, it can involve sitting with your eyes closed, picturing different colours and images, watching your breath or walking slowly.
Different types of meditation
An important thing to remember is that meditation isn’t about changing who you are or ignoring your feelings – it’s quite the opposite. It’s about getting a healthy perspective on yourself and your life. Just like sport or cooking, meditation is a learned skill, one that over time you can become more comfortable with.
Meditation is a great complement to your NDIS plan and the work you’ll do with your Recovery Coach – it’s free, doesn’t necessarily require any equipment and is something you can do on your own each day.
Here are a few different styles of meditation you might like to try. Be patient with yourself as you learn these new skills and know that you can try things differently if the technique you’re practicing doesn’t feel aligned.
As the name suggests, visualisation is a process of picturing positive images in your mind, ideas or symbols, or even imagining mantras or affirmations while you’re in a relaxed state. It’s a great tool to use to help calm your mind, particularly if you think in images.
A body scan meditation is just that – you start at the top of your head and scan every inch of your body, looking for tension and tightness. When you find a sticky spot, you take a moment to acknowledge it, then send a few deep breaths its way. This is a good technique for when you’re feeling numb or disconnected from your body because it allows you to bring awareness to what’s happening inside.
Used in the yoga community and gaining popularity, yoga nidra translates to ‘yogic sleep’. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night, this meditation can help. Similar to a body scan, this guided meditation (you can search online for examples) moves your awareness through the body in a particular way. It’s the meditation equivalent of a massage, designed to relax you to the point of sleep (but try and stay awake if you can!).
Spanning the spectrum from taking a few deep breaths to quite vigorous breathing techniques, breathwork has the ability to affect your nervous system and tap into your ‘rest and digest’ zone aka the parasympathetic nervous system.
Breathwork can also be used to build heat and energy in the body to nurture focus and attention, so it’s recommended you work with a certified breathwork teacher when starting out.
Apps for your meditation practice
If you’re new to meditation or would like to branch out to try different styles, there are lots of apps on the market designed for just that. Here are few that we love:
- Insight Timer: Offering more than 45k minutes of meditations for free, this app also has a number of paid courses you can take to address different issues, like stress or sleep.
- Calm: For variety, this is a winner. Featuring hundreds of hours of content, including popular bedtime stories, Calm has a lot to explore.
- Headspace: If you tend to struggle switching off before bed, Headspace gives you access to stacks of meditations, breathing exercises and more.
- Unplug: This app is great if you’re short on time or have difficulty meditating. Each guided audio is up to 5 minutes long, plus you can sign up to challenges to keep you motivated.
Meditation isn’t the cure for psychosocial disabilities, but it can support your recovery
One Good* Day Recovery Coaches can assist you to establish practices that work with your recovery. So if you have an NDIS plan with recovery coaching included, contact us and we’ll walk you through your options.