Years ago, I used to work in a day program for individuals with mental health and intellectual/developmental disabilities. During my time there, it was part of my job to come up with groups that the members could sign up for. These groups could be about anything involving healthy living, independent living, coping skills, or sometimes something that would be just fun to learn about. One of the groups I started was a meditation group. I researched the history of meditation, the different types, why meditation is used, and came up with a few types we could do together.
During this time, I was inspired to write my own guided imagery meditation. I came up with Eyes of the Wolf that was about a ten to fifteen minute meditation. This described a moment in the woods where you come face to face with a wolf, then become that wolf. This became a hit with both members and staff of the day program and inspired me to write a few more. I ended up taking a break from writing until I joined the supported employment team and started working with individuals at their jobs. I had a few individuals who would get either upset of anxious while they were working and I had to come up with a coping tool they could use to help them get back on track with work. This is when I came up with my mini meditations.
Meditations are a great coping tool when you are dealing with intruding thoughts and/or emotions. This is mostly what I use meditations for, especially if I am needing to focus on something else, like work. The downside with some meditations is that I may not always be able to take more than five minutes to do a meditation. Enter the mini meditations. These little guys only last two to three minutes. They set up a scene that you are supposed to imagine. They may sometimes use your intruding thoughts and emotions to fuel what is being described to you. The intruding thoughts and emotions may take on a physical form that will be moved aside until you can address them. Sometimes, a more positive emotion may be brought out. No matter what the meditation may do, it is meant to give you a little break from intrusions so that you can focus on the present.
Here's some little tips when doing my meditations.
Please keep in mind that I am not an expert with meditations or with mental health/IDD. If you are experiencing a crisis, please seek professional help. If needed, call 911.
If you are new to meditations, please check out my other posts under the category, Meditation Guide.
Make sure to breathe during the meditations.
There are two different videos for each meditation. One is a non verbal and the other is a vocal meditation.
For both types, focus on the words and what is being described to you.
Make the meditation your own. Add details to what you are imagining. Check out the Imaginative Elements to get some ideas of what you can imagine.
Replay the meditation as many times as you need to.
Never shove your intruding thoughts or emotions away and not revisit them. You are having these thoughts and emotions for a reason. It just may be at a time when you can not address them. Use these meditations to help you focus on what you are doing in the moment, then visit your intruders at a more appropriate time.
It is ok to have negative feelings. That is a part of being human. It should not be expected of anyone to be happy and positive all the time.
Don't feel bad if a meditation doesn't make you feel better right away. Also, don't feel bad if meditation doesn't work for you.