Health: Let’s meditate so as not to freak out…

Expert voice: Élisabeth Couzon, clinical psychologist, meditation trainer.

Author of several books including The Little Book of Mindfulness Meditation (ed. First, €2.99) and La Small Box for Mindful Meditation, 81 cards made with Charlotte Ribault (ed. Trédaniel, €13.90).

1672592143 182 Health Lets meditate so as not to freak out…

Concentrating on your breathing, watching your thoughts go by without stopping, feeling the support of your body on the ground… What if the secret of harmony was only in these moments of hindsight? This is what all meditators think and beyond that, the benefits of meditation on our health have now been proven: reduction of stress, cell aging, blood pressure, chronic pain, strengthening of immune defenses and the immune system. cardiovascular. On the mental side, emotions no longer overflow and concentration improves. As a result, in Paris as everywhere else in the world, hospitals now offer initiations in different departments (cancerology, nephrology, pain). Whatever your good reason, it’s time to get started!

France Dimanche: Can we speak of a fad?

Elisabeth Couzon: After the boom of recent years, if interest persists, it is because its effects have been proven. Meditating is practicing mental gymnastics that responds to our need to refocus.

FD: Why this need?

EC : Because we are all stressed, including the seniors who have impossible schedules and who take care of the grandchildren. Television, fear, anxiety also disturb our alignment and prevent us from living in discernment. To refocus is to come back to yourself and ask yourself: what do I feel in my body? Where am I with myself?

FD: Where to start?

EC: To meditate is to stop and be present with full awareness, to examine what is happening within, without judgement. We can practice in a formal way by taking time every day to devote ourselves to it. But you can also do it informally, during the day, during your daily activities.

FD: Should we forget our body?

EC: No, it’s the opposite. While doing the dishes, I feel the texture of the sponge or the lukewarm water on my skin, for example. When we walk, instead of ruminating, I can devote time to observing the movement of my foot, the pendulum of the arms, but also stop, look at my surroundings, listen to the birds and focus my attention on the way whose body reacts when it hears the bird sing.

FD: Can we really see benefits on our mood?

EC : In one of the eight-week trainings that I led, a 79-year-old woman signed up because she was too worried about her grandchildren. His anxiety has actually gone down, but his hypertension too, his doctor couldn’t believe it. This example clearly reveals how, little by little, our neurons have been trained in anxiety and hypertension. We must therefore create a new neuronal highway and each little meditation will trace it. Those of the great meditators are very wide and have an automatic mode for serenity. For others, you have to stop the autopilot to be 100% present several times a day, to build a new path.

8 TIPS to get you started

  1. Find the right position, the one that suits you: sitting in lotus position or not, leaning or not, lying down or moving. And if you fall asleep, your body needed it.
  2. Do not set the bar too high: welcoming your thoughts, emotions and sensations without judgment, by focusing on your breathing and your body, is a learning process. Be kind to yourself, if you last 5 or 10 minutes, that’s it!
  3. Join a group once a week to feel supported.
  4. Stick memos everywhere. When your eyes land on it, remember to take yourself off autopilot for a moment.
  5. Schedule a reminder in your phone for regular practice.
  6. Prepare a small welcoming corner at home (cushion, blanket) but also outside (at the foot of a tree, facing a beautiful panorama…).
  7. In the evening or in case of insomnia, consider the body scan. The exercise consists of mentally identifying all the parts of your body, from the top of the skull to the toes, then vice versa without stopping.
  8. Trying art: free dancing, music, drawing, coloring or creating mandalas can also be a gateway. Concentrate on the movement, on the sound, on the line, in a state of inner calm without the notion of time. In Meditate with art (ed. Eyrolles), Marjan Abadie guides your eyes and asks you about your feelings about the works of masters (Leonardo da Vinci, Gauguin, Chagall…) that she makes you contemplate.

Anne, 63, Honfleur: “I am more zen”

I started on the advice of the medical team following me for lung cancer. I am now cured, but I have never stopped, I have had a session almost every morning for six years. I listen to sessions on the Internet and I like those of Deepak Chopra. I feel more zen and I see life on the bright side. »

Marie, 30 years old: “No to received ideas!”

Already seven years since Marie Dojka began to meditate. First through sessions on the Internet, then in Asia where she still travels from country to country. In Expand your consciousness through meditation (ed. Quintessence, €17), she debunks the most widespread misconceptions about this practice, while telling how it helped her get to know herself better. His advice? “Dare to start! »

Where to find your guided meditation to do alone?

Practical notebook

  • On an app On the blinds of smartphones, the choice is plethoric. Generally, all offer a free basic program consisting of an initiation cycle and, sometimes, a daily session. The paid subscription allows access to a larger catalog, to download the recordings on his device. Let’s mention Insight Timer, which offers a lot of free sessions, the possibility of participating in group workshops and even taking a yoga class. But our favorite is also the best known in France: Petit Bambou which offers 1,040 sessions grouped into numerous thematic programs: relaxation, refocusing, addiction, difficult emotions, walking… Some are carried out by the famous Christophe André. Finally, the connection can be made from the phone, tablet or computer. Rates: €6.99/month or €59.88/year or for life: €240.
  • On the Internet After typing “meditation” in the YouTube search window, you won’t know where to turn. Pick one whose theme and voice inspires you. Have a look on the pages of the big names, like that of the philosopher Fabrice Midal. You can also follow a “meditation challenge” of 15, 21 or 30 days as proposed by Jenna Blossoms.
  • 100% offline For those who wish to avoid the airwaves and the Internet, the Morphée brand has created a range of three boxes containing sessions. The wooden one offers 210, of 8 or 20 minutes (€79.95), the one for children 192, of 8 and 16 minutes (€79.95) and the pebble that fits in your pocket has 72 of 5 minutes. (€59.95). Crowdfunding is currently underway on to pre-order their next box which will offer 800 meditations!

Julie Boucher

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Health: Let’s meditate so as not to freak out…

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