Ever find yourself in search of a simple way to stop racing thoughts, calm your mind, or look for a distraction from worry?
Let me share something that works for me:
Grab a candle, or more than one if you desire, go into a dark room, light it and set it in front of you and just sit there and watch the flame. Keep the room as quiet as possible and watch the flame flicker and dance. Sit there for about 15 minutes or so and tune out the rest of the world and just “be”.
I know it sounds like such a simple little thing, but remember that anxiety recovery, and even basic stress relief, are not supposed to be complicated. There is actually supposed to be as little “thinking and doing” involved as possible. The part of your brain that is in charge of all the thoughts you are thinking all day long needs a break. It needs a little “quiet time”, and watching a flickering candle is the perfect way to get it.
I don’t know about you, but I have always found meditation to be somewhat of a challenge. I have a difficult time getting my mind to be “still” and I always feel I end up trying too hard and ruining the whole process. But if I use a candle, I find that my thoughts don’t wander. It is very easy to almost go into a trance like state and think of nothing at all. And when you are used to carrying the weight of a thousand thoughts around with you all the time, it is a very nice feeling to lose that weight for a little while.
I remember after my dad died suddenly a few years ago, it was a huge shock to me and I was overcome with that shock and the stress of all of it. I was in almost a “manic” kind of state….that is the only way I can describe it. I couldn’t bring myself “down” from the racing thoughts and jittery feelings. I remember taking a candle into the quiet room that is off of our bedroom, and sitting down in front of it on the middle of the floor, and just staring at it…watching it dance.
After about ten minutes, it had quieted my mind enough to allow my grief to rise to the surface, and I began to sob so hard and feel the most gut wrenching emotional pain. I felt as though my insides were being torn open. But that is what needed to happen. I needed to purge those feelings. I needed to shut everything else off and just “feel” that pain. And then when I was done crying, I continued to stare at the flame and I felt overcome with peace. It reminded me of being in church on Christmas Eve when I was little. It was comforting and almost spiritual in a way and made me feel connected to my dad .
Try this style of meditation yourself and see if it works for you. You can also use essential oil pens or have relaxing sounds playing in the background as you meditate to help deepen your sense of relaxation. Here is a really helpful link I found that offers some additional great suggestions on how to enhance your candle meditation.
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