Self-awareness is a vitally important skill. However, focusing on your self can become destructive if it is done too much. When someone is so preoccupied with his or her self to the point of loosing touch with the outside world or reflecting on the thoughts or feelings of others, it creates self-obsession. Meditative Activities
Self-obsession can make your negative emotions so powerful that you feel out of control, caught up in them like a puppet. Being so focused on your self can make it more difficult to be open to the input of a supportive friend or community, because true friendship demands that you both are listened to, and listen to the other person.
Meditation, or purposeful exercises to control the mind in aware of the moment, can be an extremely useful tool in helping you develop a good balance between self-awareness and self-obsession. Here are a few meditation exercises to try.
1) Concentration meditation
Concentration mediation brings focus to your brain, and trains it to be responsive to your direction. When thoughts from the inside, or stressors from the outside come in, concentration can help you switch those harmful voices out, and bring your focus back to what is true in the present moment.
Focus your mind on a single object, like an image, your breath, a sound, or a single word. Use this thing as an anchor, keeping the mind on it for a set period of time, allowing nothing else to enter into your consciousness. If the mind wanders away, simply use the object as a way to bring you back to a state of calmness and slowness.
2) Mindfulness Meditation
Cultivating mindfulness is a very important tool to helping you become aware of what is going on in the here and now, and being fully present in the world.
Begin as you would in concentration, by using breath or a single sensation to direct your mind within itself. But then, slowly, open your eyes and start fanning out, reflecting on the sensations, sights, sounds, and smells in the world around you. Take a step on into the world, paying attention both to the act of walking, and to everything going on all around you. Without judgment, simply receive everything that comes in.
3) Dynamic moving meditation
This form of meditation emphasizes spontaneity, and mind-body connection, so that you learn to express your feelings honestly, and then gain control over them.
a) Start by standing up, relaxed and with loose joints, in comfort. Move around, sporadically and randomly, breathing as hard as you can for ten minutes.
b) Rest, and pay attention to the emotions and thoughts coming up. Slowly, spend a few minutes with sound and body movements that express what is inside you.
c) With eyes closed and arms raised, jump up and down and say “Who!” every time your feet hit the floor. Expend as much energy as possible, but continue to pay attention to what it feels like, both inside and out.
d) Freeze! Stand still like a statue, with eyes closed. Do not adjust your body for 15 minutes, but pay attention to feelings.
e) Dance! Spend some time dancing wildly and freely, to end on positive feelings.
4) Loving Kindness Meditation
With more focus internally then externally, this mediation teaches you the very important skill of treating both yourself and others with compassion. Using visualization of love being sent down, affirmation on your positive qualities, and simply repeating the truth “I send you love” until you really feel and believe it, visualize the following people, and send kindness to them. Meditative Activities
b) a respected teacher or elder
c) someone you already dearly love, like a friend
d) someone you know but have no special feelings towards
e) someone you actively dislike or are in conflict with.
5) Quick meditation for the middle of a busy life
This meditation is a useful, quick way of taking a break before a stressful event, taking only a few minutes to bring your focus away from your stress and to the present.
a) Sit up comfortably, with a straight back.
b) Slowly inhale and exhale, breathing long and deep, 3 times.
c) Listen to and feel the air enter your nostrils.
Imagine a clear light appearing on your forehead, shining from your head, out onto the entire world. This light is outshining every confusing or cluttering thought, so that all that comes from your mind is this light. Meditative Activities