When it comes to mental health, it’s rarely ever one single thing that supports overall wellbeing. More often than not, it’s the combination of habits when practised daily that bolsters us for living life on our own terms.
Meditation is a widely known tool for good mental health and it has a lot of benefits, not just for the individual practising it, but for everyone they encounter. This is what One Good* Day Recovery Coach Simon has experienced, and what he champions in his work with clients.
It’s a personal practice
“Meditation is different for everybody and is so subjective,” Simon explains. “Everyone has their own forms of meditation and how they discovered it, but I do think that the first thing you do is focus on your breath.”
“I started practising meditation when there was so much chaos going on in my life,” he admits. “Both self-inflicted and external, uncontrolled chaos. I found myself getting to the point where I was ‘thinking without thinking’, and it was a constant flow of white noise.”
This is common when starting a meditation practice as the mind and body aren’t used to sitting in stillness. But this is where exploring guided meditation can be useful.
“I started listening to Alan Watts,” Simon says, “and I wrote down this quote that really resonated with me, which is: a person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about, except thoughts. So they lose touch with reality, and live in a world of illusion. I’ve always held onto that.”
It’s about shifting your perspective
We understand that if you’re experiencing a psychosis or other intense mental health condition, meditation might not be accessible. But over time, and with the right support – a One Good* Day NDIS Recovery Coach like Simon, for example – you may find it’s a valuable tool in your recovery journey.
“Meditation also taught me that everything is happening for us, not to us,” Simon shares. “So whenever I encounter challenges in my life, I first focus on returning to my breath and processing it for what it is. I then find I am able to find a rational solution to the problem, address it, and comfortably let it go”
Since beginning his practice some 5 years ago, Simon has found that meditation has increased his calmness and patience. By becoming more present to what’s happening around him, Simon is now able to respond rather than react to life’s challenges.
It’s about trust and repetition
“For anyone starting out, I would say to trust the process,” Simon offers. “If you really believe that meditation is something that’s going to benefit you, just start. Even for just a few minutes a day: shut off your phone, turn off all external stimuli and focus on taking a few deep breaths. Sit in silence, let the thoughts come and go and do that every day if you can to experience even more of the benefits.”
As with anything, practice breeds improvement (not perfection). Many of our One Good* Day Recovery Coaches meditate regularly and support their clients to begin their own relationship with meditation if they express interest. But it’s not
“If you’re diagnosed with a mental health condition, it’s likely always going to be a part of your life, it’s just a matter of how you deal with it,” Simon comforts. “I used meditation as a way to repel or limit those negative thoughts and learn how to be more present to my emotions and thoughts in a very deliberate way.”
Our team can be a part of your recovery journey
At One Good* Day, we believe (like Simon does) that even though there will be some days that are tough, it’s possible to find One Good* Day, whatever that looks like to you. If you’ve got an NDIS plan – or think you may be eligible for one – contact us to get the ball rolling.