Note: This post was updated in 2018 for clarity and additional resources.
For most of my life I’ve had a meditation practice. Through meditation I’ve healed addiction, physical illness and emotional distress.
Stillness is a powerful practice. In an interview I did with Dr. Lissa Rankin about her book Mind Over Medicine, we talked about what Dr. Herbert Benson calls the relaxation response. The relaxation response is the experience that we have when we slow down.
How to heal yourself through meditation
When we slow down, such as by meditating, we reorganize our nervous system and allow our body to heal itself naturally. Watch the video below or keep reading to learn how you can heal yourself through meditation. (For more on this topic check out Dr. Lissa Rankin’s book Mind Over Medicine.)
Accept that meditation can heal you
So many people want meditation. They want to use meditation to manifest what they want, or to calm down, or just feel better overall. Meditation will give you all those benefits, as long as you practice it regularly. (This is something I help my Miracle Members do by sharing a guided meditation every month.) But we can go even further!
One of the greatest things we can accept in life is that meditation is the true source of genuine healing. Whether you are going through a physical health condition right now or you just want to feel less anxious, you can use a meditation practice daily to give yourself the gift of stillness and let your body heal naturally.
Allow whatever comes up during your meditation
I’ve heard many people tell me that they have a hard time meditating because they can’t feel that stillness. They sit down to meditate and they think they’re doing something wrong because they don’t immediately drop into quietness. But here’s what surprises people: All of that “non-quiet” stuff is GOOD.
You’ll begin to see when you sit in meditation you might feel twitching a little bit. If you have a knee problem you might start to feel the knee aching a bit. I hold a lot of tension in my forehead, so when I meditate I get a little twitch in my eye for the first three minutes of the meditation. I welcome this little twitch, because it’s a sign that I’m healing.
During meditation you might also start to have lots of chaotic thoughts. Many people start to think, “Where are all these thoughts coming from? I need to push them away. I need to silence my mind!”
It’s actually quite the opposite. Those thoughts coming up are your mind’s way of healing. Maybe there’s an old story or fear that needs to come up so you can clear it. Don’t push down those thoughts. Let them come through and then gently take your focus back to your breath or back to your mantra. But let the feelings and the thoughts come forward.
Our work isn’t to push away or ignore those thoughts or physical sensations. Our work is to let them come up so they can be healed. Trust that when you’re meditating and your body’s twitching or the thoughts are coming in, that that is healing. It’s what is known as an active meditation with an active healing experience.
Yes, it’s absolutely divine to have those really Zenned-out, deep meditations that we all love. And there is great healing there, too. But trust that these more active meditations are really, really powerful. You are experiencing real physical and emotional healing.
Rest after meditating
When you come out of your meditation it’s important to rest for a few minutes. I learned this as a student of Transcendental Meditation. When you practice Transcendental Meditation, you meditate for 20 minutes, silently repeating a mantra. At the end, you rest for two or three minutes, no longer repeating your mantra but just letting thoughts naturally come into your mind.
After your meditation, rest for a few minutes. You might want to lie down or you can just sit comfortably with your eyes closed, letting your mind and body transition out of meditation mode. This is much better for you than coming right out of a meditation and immediately checking your phone, starting up a conversation, going back to work, etc.
When you don’t give yourself that brief rest period, you lose the effects of your meditation and you often interfere with your healing. So no matter what kind of meditation you’re doing, give yourself that short rest afterward and welcome the healing!
Heal yourself with my free meditations
I created a FREE 4-track album of guided meditations to help you enhance every area of your life! One of the meditations is my Body Love Meditation, which helps you heal your physical body. Click here: Download my free meditations.