We've probably all heard that meditation can be a useful tool for managing stress and anxiety. Most techniques begin with focusing on the breath but many of us struggle to do so. Some people find it easier to sustain focus on sounds. Sounds are, in some ways, the best object of meditation because they automatically bring you to the present moment. Sounds only exist in the present.
Try listening to this recording of Himalayan singing bowls and anchor your attention to the changing sounds. When you find yourself side-tracked by anxious thoughts, or any thoughts at all, simply return your attention to the sounds of the moment without judging yourself for being distracted. Judgment is just another thought to be distracted by. Just go back to the sounds.
Try this same technique outside and pay attention to the sounds in your environment. Listen to the birds, the wind, cars, trains, or whatever comes to your attention.
By anchoring our attention to the sounds of the moment, we can give ourselves a mini vacation from our current messed-up situation and reestablish a sense of calm and groundedness that will help us be resilient in challenging times.
Performed and recorded by Matt Szczesny, Personal Counseling office