Several years ago I saw a counselor for some issues I was dealing with.
I walked in her office somewhat guarded because I feel very strongly about my Christian beliefs and often many counselors are more secular in practice.
Finding a Christian counselor is hard and having your insurance pay for one is even harder!
But much to my surprise this particular one I went to had been formally trained at a Christian college but explained she didn’t advertise herself as one simply because there wasn’t a market for it and insurance issues.
I explained to her some of my concerns and she was very considerate of my beliefs!
So as our time went on my counselor introduced me to Centering Prayer.
According to Wikipedia- “Advocates of Centering Prayer say it does not replace other prayer but encourages silence and deeper connection to God. Also advocates of Centering Prayer say it helps people be more present and open to God.
What is Centering Prayer-
I can’t speak as to what people outside of what I was taught practice but I can share what my counselor taught me!
To me Centering Prayer is sitting quiet, in a comfortable place(I often sat in my closet because it was quiet and some what sound proof!), taking the time to close your eyes, control your breathing and focusing (and saying in your mind) on a name for Christ or a short Bible verse.
She suggested doing it for 20-40 minutes a day. Twenty was about my max. I just can’t sit still much longer!
I still practice it about 1-3 times a week.
Again, there are probably different practices but this is what works for me!
This to me, fits into what my beliefs are and I feel they help me to relax and focus better on Christ!
Why practice Centering Prayer-
There are many benefits of meditation.
-Can help with memory
-Lengthens attention span
-Helps with emotional health
-Can help control pain
-Can help reduce blood pressure
And since Centering Prayer is a form of meditation, you will reap the same benefits as regular meditation plus growing closer to Christ!!!
Which in turn gives you a greater sense of peace and rest!
What can you do besides Centering Prayer-
One other practice I have is “Grounding”.
What is grounding?
Some people call it earthing.
The thought is it connects you to the electrical charges in the earth and it promotes healing in the body, muscle and body pain.
I don’t know about all that!!
But, being a West Virginia girl, I LOVE being outside and I do fall under the stereotypical “barefoot”(but NOT pregnant!!). I try to go outside barefoot and stand in the grass or walk up to get the mail barefoot! And Yes-even on cold days!
It totally makes me happy to feel the grass and ground under my feet!
So that is enough for me!
What about you?
Do you practice meditation, centering prayer or grounding?
Do you have any other stress control practices-like breathing, massage, yoga or tai chi?
What do you do to help with stress and anxiety?
Do you use essential oils to help with stress, anxiety and depression?
I would love to hear what practices you have found helpful as well!!