Stress is such a buzz kill.
Nothing will bring you down quicker than feeling stressed out. It keeps you from sleeping well, staying productive, and getting in a good mood. It only makes sense than that reducing stress increases happiness. One of the best ways to bring your stress levels down and increase your joy is to pray and mediate.
In addition to reducing stress and increasing happiness, prayer and meditation is good for you. It helps you practice self-awareness, and it strengthens your concentration. If you’re new to prayer and meditation, let me give you a quick primer to help you clear the mind.
Prayer is connecting with your Father in Heaven and meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness. It’s reached by practicing meditating, until we can reach that state of mind easily and effortlessly. Along the way meditation will help us concentrate, contemplate, and gives us more control over our mind and our thoughts. Prayer to me is giving those thoughts up to God and releasing all of my worries to Him. I also spend time thanking Him for all that He has given me.
There are all sorts of different ways to practice prayer and mediation. Some will have you focus on your breathing, some will have you focus on your body. You can practice in complete silence or while listening to soft music.
If you’re new to prayer and meditation, a simple guided meditation may be your best bet. I also spend the first 30 minutes of my day in worship and prayer. There are plenty of recordings online, on YouTube, and even on apps. Some of them will be free, while others are paid guided meditations. Listen to a few of them until you find a mediation or prayer you’re comfortable with.
If you want to just give this a try without downloading or buying any guided meditations, give this basic meditation exercise a try. Start by laying down comfortably on your back. Have your hands on the side and relax. Close your eyes, and breathe naturally. Notice how the breath moves your body and try to focus on mind on each exhalation and inhalation. If you mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath. Aim for a few minutes of meditation to begin with. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself nodding off. Prayer and meditation can be very relaxing and a great way to help you get to sleep.
With practice you will be able to pray and mediate for longer periods of time. Experiment with techniques and lengths of prayer and mediation until you find your own routine that reduces stress, increases happiness and is something you can stick with for the long run.
Keep praying and meditating to keep up your happiness levels.
Vera JM Friesen
PS. Do you know someone that would enjoy this HAPPINESS & JOY journey too? Just tell them to go here.