The holiday season is a busy season. With all of the demands on our schedule – shopping, party planning, traveling, family gathering – it’s easy to stray from our normal health and wellness routines, and the stress of it all can cause our health to suffer.
Before the stress takes over, add one of my favorite stress management tools to your routine this holiday season: The 6 Phase Meditation.
The 6 Phase Meditation was developed by Vishen Lakhiani, a teacher I greatly admire when it comes to personal growth and development. This meditation, and meditation in general, can be a life changer for many people. It can radically improve your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, and is one of the most powerful tools we have for managing stress.
6 Phase Meditation starts with Relaxation.
Put on some calming music and find a comfortable, quiet place to sit. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale slowly countdown from 20 to 1. You can go deeper into this experience by taking the time to feel your body – bring your focus to the top of your head, releasing any tension that you may be holding in your scalp. Slowly shift your focus down to your forehead, your face…gradually making your way all the way down to your feet – relaxing each body part along the way.
Once you’re feeling relaxed and grounded, you can move into the first phase of the six-phase meditation:
Imagine that there is a white light surrounding your body – you’re sitting in a peaceful bubble full of loving energy. Allow the white light to expand, connecting you to your neighborhood, your city, your country, and the planet – seeing yourself as part of a greater consciousness.
The second phase of the 6 phase meditation is gratitude. You can cultivate gratitude by thinking of 5-10 things that you are really grateful for. They can be big or small. Express gratitude and engage your senses – smell, touch, taste, hearing, vision – as you recall how these things made you feel.
Feel what it’s like in your body to be grateful – what sensations, feelings, and colors do you associate with gratitude? Cultivating gratitude in this way will help you to sink even deeper into a meditative state.
In this phase, think of someone who you have a conflict with. Imagine that person standing in front of you, and apologize to that person for any harm that you may have caused them. Ask for their forgiveness and forgive them for any harm they have caused you. Notice what it feels like in your body to truly forgive them, and know that on a deeper level we are all one and any negative energy between us will work against us.
Begin this phase by visualizing your perfect future. Imagine what your life will be like 3 years from now. Be specific and use all five senses as you imagine all that you desire coming to fruition. If three years feel too far off, you can visualize one year from now instead. Either way, set the intention to create the future that you desire.
5. Daily Intention
Set the intention to make this day the best that it can be, and imagine what that might look and feel like. Allow yourself to feel the joy, excitement and gratitude at the start of your day as well as the peace, comfort and relaxation at the end of your day.
Set the intention to make it an amazing day filled with love and kindness, and align yourself with that vision.
The final phase of this meditation involves calling on the higher power that you believe in to provide you with inner strength and courage. Ask for support in creating the day and life that you desire. Allow yourself to feel that support in your body, as if you are surrounded by loving, supportive, and protective energy.
Make this holiday a beautiful experience, instead of a stressful or painful one, by setting aside 10 minutes every day for the next 30 days to try this meditation. Not only will it help you connect with your body in a new way and reduce stress, it will also help you to get clear about your desires and create the type of life that you want – the perfect way to end this year and enter into the next!