Simple Meditation/Relaxation Exercise

If you are feeling closed in and disconnected from those around you and feel as if no one understands, try to find a place outside where you can comfortably lie down on a towel with minimal distractions. Ideally, this is a place that does not feel closed in by trees on all sides and is expansive enough where you can see the sky from many different directions, not only when you look up.

I am lucky enough to live relatively close to Moraine State Park, so I pay it a visit when I need to try to relax myself.

Try to find a comfortable position lying on your back on the ground, making sure that the ground is fully supporting your back with no effort on your part—meaning if your back hurts, find a more comfortable spot on the ground and make sure you are not arching your back. Relax your facial muscles, put on sun glasses or put a t-shirt over your face if you find yourself squinting in the sun. If you’re comfortable, wear your swimsuit, and feel how the sun warms your skin, particularly in the middle of your chest. Let that warmth radiate throughout out your body and focus on the warmth or your breath when your thoughts wander. I particularly like to do this after I come out from swimming and feel the sun drying and warming my skin. If you find yourself worrying or thinking about something that is hurting you, try to think about all of the people in the world that have also felt the same way that you feel. Your experience of a particular pain is yours, but the experience of pain is not unique. Try to take comfort in that and send a prayer or good thoughts toward other people who may be similarly suffering at the same time that you are.

When I feel closed off from the world and small, I try to go out in nature, and though it may seem counter intuitive, it helps me when I see how expansive nature is and how small I am compared to it. It helps me gain perspective on my situation and worries.

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