Why am I writing this article?
In their studies, Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008) found that the severity levels of severity of depression, anxiety, and stress decreased by the end of the meditation course.
Often, I’ll wake up in the morning and start worrying about what I must do that day whether it’s something small like going to the shops, or something bigger like doing a presentation to my whole 100 strong lecture theatre, on a Monday morning! Trying to force these thoughts out of your head not matter how small or how big they seem, can be a challenge, and I’m here to make this process easier for you!
I read something once, that whatever you start thinking about during the first 20 seconds of your day, determines your mood for the start of the day and sometimes even for the whole day, and it can be difficult to change that mood if it’s a bad one. That is why I meditate as soon as I get up.
Yellow is one of my favourite colours and for this technique I chose to associate vanilla ice cream, the sand and the sun at the beach with this colour. Yellow is described as “the colour of sunshine, hope, and happiness” and that is the part of yellow I focus on. Yellow does have another meaning too but as part of this meditation technique it wouldn’t be appropriate to focus on that.
Furthermore, it is associated with increased mental activity such as boosted memory and encouraged communication. Both things can be lacking in someone like me who has struggled with mental health, so you can benefit from them too. A study by Moore, A., & Malinowski, P. (2009) concluded that meditators performed significantly better than non-meditators on all measures of attention. Therefore, if you’re into your fitness or wanting to start going to the gym, then thinking of this colour alongside something you love can improve your energy to get up in the morning and you’ll have more energy to do that.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very sceptical of this at first, but I tracked my progress on a little mood board type thing over time and I saw a noticeable difference in how I recorded I was feeling, there was a considerable change for the better. I’m not saying you should use yellow as the colour you associate with these things. You could use blue and think of the sea or red and think of Christmas. It can be anything that you associate with feeling calm, comfortable or happy, a place worked well for me, but it might not for you, it could be a time of day or season of the year etc. You’ll be able to figure it out yourself most of the time but feel free to drop me a message or a comment if you are struggling and I’ll be happy to help you out.
When I meditate, I think of somewhere I love to be, the beach for example. I imagine sitting on the sand with an ice cream in hand (unintentional rhyme) whilst the water travels to my feet and then out and back again. I look up at the sun and associate that with health and passion and even power. I focus on the sun as a healing power. It’s like that feeling when you’re sat tanning and so relaxed with the world, and you don’t always want to leave that moment. This time that feeling is starting in your head as opposed to feeling the heat on your body first, and then the energy you take from that moves to your body. You know on those days when you wake up and it’s sunny, and you already feel brighten and stronger that day? Well there’s a good reason for that. The sun is associated with power. You can use this power to gain strength when you’re feeling low, because at the end of the day, you deserve to feel powerful in yourself.
What are you going to gain from this?
Well firstly, you’re going away knowing a meditation technique that you can try, whenever you want. I’d recommend meditation in the morning when you wake up before or after a workout if you do morning workouts. It will set you in a good mood and you’ll feel stronger to take on the challenges of your day. I’d also recommend it before bed, and as hard as it sounds, after you’ve put your phone down, because technology can keep you up all night! Try putting your phone away at least half an hour before you go to sleep and set your heart and full focus on meditation and I guarantee that you’ll get better quality sleep than if you were on your phone right before bed. Thirdly I also suggest meditating if you’ve had a hard day at work, if someone has upset you, if you’re worried about a loved one, worried about paying the bills or in general if anything is bringing you down, just enter your own zone for a bit, and hopefully your problems won’t overwhelm you!
Remember that you don’t have to use the colour yellow, or the beach or the sun. You could choose black if that’s what makes you feel calm, as it is associated with nighttime, a quiet time. Remember this is whatever resonates with you, not what I tell you or your friends and family tell you, or the spiritual guy who is kind of cool says that works. I’m not saying ignore them, take on board the thoughts and adapt it to yourself!
I hoped you gained something from the article, if you already use this way of meditating then I’d love to hear what entities make you feel calm. If you don’t feel comfortable with divulging that then that’s ok too! If you have any thoughts or questions about meditation, then leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I will be posting more content like this so next time you visit the site you can expect to find more to learn. I briefly mentioned morning exercise earlier in the post, I’ve done an article which covers how exercise can impact mental health in more detail there. Have a look if you’re interested.
Have a nice day, stay blessed.
Bourne Creative (BC) (2011) Colour Meaning: Meaning of The Colour Yellow [Online] Available at: https://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-yellow/ (Accessed 12th December 2018)
Moore, A., & Malinowski, P. (2009). Meditation, mindfulness and cognitive flexibility. Consciousness and cognition, 18(1), 176-186. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810008001967 (Accessed 12th December 2018)
Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008). The benefits of mindfulness meditation: Changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress. Behaviour Change, 25(3), 156-168. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behaviour-change/article/benefits-of-mindfulness-meditation-changes-in-emotional-states-of-depression-anxiety-and-stress/16CEFE3661C9173067A32827CE8F6010 (Accessed 12th December 2018)
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