In this post, we’ll take a look at an easy yet powerful form of meditation, that you can use to destress in a matter of minutes. What’s more, you don’t need any previous meditative experience; all it takes is an open mind and some motivation to practice.
You probably already know that meditation is physically and mentally calming, but it’s also emotionally soothing. That makes meditation most pleasant and revitalizing.
Before we get to the mediation, let’s examine the nature of stress first.
What is Stress?
When the mind is speeding from one thought to the next like a jet, and the physical body feels intensely alive, that’s a common type of stress. So, is it a pleasant or unpleasant mental state? To answer that question, I suggest you tune in to your bodily sensations next time you are under stress. That way, you will know for yourself.
Stress is generally triggered by heavy workloads and tight schedules. For example, you have to cover for a colleague at the office who has called in sick, which doubles your workload. Another scenario would be a deadline that moved up.
Ultimately, thinking is the cause of stress. The sheer thought of a heavy workload or a tight schedule, can give rise to a sense of panic. With this knowledge, it’s quite easy to see that destressing is fundamentally about not thinking. In other words, the most effective way to relieve stress is by taking a break from thinking.
How to Destress: Guided Meditation
Guided meditation does not involve thinking. Instead, you work with plain awareness. When you meditate, you give relaxed attention to your meditation object. That’s it!
The mind calms down the moment awareness takes the place of thinking. In this context awareness, attention, and mindfulness mean the same thing, they all point to a state of mind that is free from thought.
Guided meditation is one of the easiest meditation techniques available. What is more, it’s as fun as it is powerful. All you have to do is press play, close your eyes, and follow the voice instructions.
Meditation downloads can be found by searching for guided meditation in any search engine.
- Meditate in a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed. That makes it easier to relax and concentrate. It’s also a good idea to switch off the sound on your cell phone.
- Meditate lying down on your back. It’s natural to relax the body while lying down. Remember that a relaxed body makes for a relaxed mind and vice versa, so make yourself as comfortable as possible. If there is nowhere to lie down, sitting on a chair will do just fine.
- Meditating with your eyes closed makes it easier to stay focused. Moreover, darkness has a calming effect on the mind. So if you like, you can switch off the lights in the room.
- Always give relaxed attention to your meditation object, trying too hard only increases physical and mental tension.
- Meditate 1-2 times per day for a minimum of 5 minutes per session.
- It’s better to do multiple 5-minute meditations with short breaks, than a long session. In the beginning, the mind quickly gets tired since it’s not used to giving its continuous attention for extended periods of time.
- Meditate in the morning while you’re still in bed. That gives you a fresh start of the day. Likewise, you can improve the quality of your sleep by doing a session before going to bed at night.
A final note. The more you practice, the deeper the meditation takes you, making the destressing more effective. The soothing and calming effects also become more pronounced with experience. In short, you have everything to gain by establishing a regular meditation practice.
Feel free to share your experiences of destressing in the comments…
Featured photo credit: morning meditation via Shutterstock