How Relaxation Meditation Can Help You Relieve Stress
Stress and anxiety are two inseparable parts of daily life. However, one does not have to worry about them and let them overwhelm in everyday life. Meditation can help you a lot when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety.
Relaxation meditation is the way to achieve calm and peace of mind. But what is it, and what are some of the best relaxation techniques? Let’s find out.
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Meditation to Relax the Mind
Stress is responsible for our fight or flight response. The response has helped our ancestors survive for a long, long time. However, in modern life, the dangers have been replaced with anxiety of many kinds. The body releases hormones to cope with the anxiety.
Over time, that causes a problem with your mind and body. Both mental and physical issues are caused by stress and anxiety. Some of the most common culprits are lack of sleep, depression, and even high blood pressure.
With relaxation meditation, you can reduce stress and anxiety, soothe your mind, and stop your body to release those stress hormones we talked about. That will give you a sense of calm and even lower your heart rate. It is just about doing it regularly, making a habit of relaxation meditation, and making the most out of it.
Relaxation Meditation Techniques
Deep Breathing is one of the easiest ways to relax. Whenever you are anxious, you must have noticed your breathing to be fast and shallow. Deep breathing, or as we call it, breathing from the stomach, will help you. It is also called belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing. It will stimulate the body’s nervous system. Deep breathing will thus help you in lowering your heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure.
Some Techniques to Help You Out:
- Find a place to sit. It can be the floor, a yoga mat, or even a chair. Find whatever is comfortable for you. Now put your hand over your heart and put the other hand on your stomach.
- Take a deep breath in; you should feel your stomach rise as you inhale the air in. Hold your breath as you count one, two, three.
- On the count of three, exhale and feel your stomach expand.
You can change the count of three to your preference, of course. You can hold your breath for the count of 5 to 7. The idea here is to slow down your breathing and involve your stomach in the breathing process. The more you practice it, the better it will get. You can practice these techniques even when you are not feeling any anxiety or stress whatsoever.
A Guided Meditation for Relaxation
Most of the relaxation meditation techniques will involve paying attention to your breathing. At times, it can be an external object to anchor your attention. Here we are discussing a guided relaxation meditation technique that is simple.
Remember, there are several techniques to try when talking about meditation for relaxation and stress reduction. This is a 10-minute meditation that you can make a part of your daily routine to help you fend off your anxiety.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Find a place to meditate, which is convenient for you. The quieter, the better. You can start with three deep breaths. Some people also practise breathing in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth. Focus on your breathing; think about the air going in and out of your lungs. Think about getting the stress off your mind and body. Close your eyes once you are exhaling for the third time.
In the Zone
Settle your nerves. Take a few moments if you want to. Get aware of your senses. Take notice of the sounds around you, the smells around you, and feel the weight of your body. This is the time you check in the zone of meditation, feeling all your senses.
Feel the Body
Continuing on the feeling you sense, scan your body from head to toe. Feel the parts of your body that feel strained and loosen them out. Observe what parts of your body feel relaxed. You can take 20 to 30 seconds to go through the body scan. You may also feel the thoughts arising in your mind. Do not try to dismiss them. Acknowledge them and note them without passing any judgments.
Focus your attention back to breathing. Feel the sensations in your body and take note of your inhaling and exhaling patterns. Naturally, some thoughts will come to your mind, and the mind will wander off at times. Do not be harsh on yourself and bring your attention back to breathing gently.
Feel the Calm
You can sit there for a while without any thoughts and let your mind run free. At this time, your mind can be empty and calm. It can be full of thoughts or be confused even. Just let your mind be in the moment.
Closing the Session
Prepare to end your relaxation meditation. Slowly come back to your surroundings and make a note of your physical environment around you. Feel the meditation posture, slowly open your eyes, complete the relaxation meditation by returning to the senses. See how your mind feels.
Make a mental note of how calm and relaxed you are feeling and come back the next day for the same. Remember, practising it more and more will only help you in the long run.
Benefits of Relaxation Meditation
As the name suggests, relaxation meditation helps you in fending off the stress and anxiety. It can be an important factor in preventing depression, also. Here are some of the noteworthy benefits of relaxation meditation and other relaxation techniques.
- They help you in slowing your heart rate.
- Relaxation meditation can help you lower your blood pressure.
- It can slow down your breathing rate if you are breathing rapidly.
- Relaxation techniques can help improve digestion.
- It will help you normalize your blood sugar levels.
- The stress hormones we talked about before, relaxation meditation can help you reduce them.
- If you are suffering from chronic pain of some type or have muscle tension, relaxation meditation will help you fight it.
- For creativity, it will improve your concentration.
- Improvement in sleep quality can also improve your mood.
- It will help you with fatigue and lower it.
- Reduced anger and frustration are also the benefits of relaxation meditation.
- It will boost your confidence and help you manage stressful situations better when they arise.
Now that we know how it helps us, you can try some other methods apart from relaxation meditation to get you the same benefits.
Other Relaxation Meditation Techniques for Stress Relief
Apart from relaxation meditation, some other techniques will help you relax your mind and reduce your stress.
1. Progressive Muscle Relaxation :
The technique of progressive muscle relaxation can help you feel much relaxed when done right. When your muscles are not tense, the mind will be much relaxed, too. Imagine yourself in your happy place, and in there, you will always feel the body’s weight to be light. There will be no tension in your body. In progressive muscle relaxation, we will try just that.
It will be a series of exercises. You will tense a set of muscles as you breathe in and loosen them up as you breathe out. This is related to our body’s response to calm itself down, and this technique will eventually help your mind relax as well. Progressive muscle relaxation can also help the ones who are having trouble sleeping.
The muscles in sequence can be hands, shoulders, forehead, the bridge over the eyes, jaws, back of the neck, front of the neck, chest, back, stomach, thighs, and legs in the end.
These are some of the ancient practices to help you with stress reduction. They are a combination of postures and rhythmic breathing. Not only do these techniques help you relax your mind, but they will also help you concentrate better on a day-to-day basis.
It is the most known practice of all three practices mentioned above. There are yoga studios where you can even take beginner classes if you are completely new to it. Apart from soothing your mind, it can help you with your strength, balance, flexibility, and improved stamina. There are several benefits of Yoga.
3. Tai Chi
Tai chi, a little less known form of meditation, was invented for self-defence at first. But it can improve mental health and work out as a gentle form of exercise that anyone can do. Here are some elements of tai chi that can help you with relaxation.
- The movements are slow and relaxed, but you are constantly moving.
- Holding specific postures as you are moving the body.
- Try meditating while doing tai chi, that is, to keep distracting thoughts away from your mind.
- Focus on breathing. It should be deep and relaxed.
Qigong is another Chinese form of meditation. Just like Tai Chi, it also helps you increase both physical and mental health. It can help you manage stress and anxiety and even help you lower your blood pressure.
There are four types of practices involved with Qigong.
- A dynamic practice that will have carefully choreographed movements will be coordinated with your breathing to anchor your awareness there.
- Static practice will include you holding the postures just like Yoga.
- As the name suggests, meditative practice will focus on breathing, self-awareness, mantras, and more. It will help you settle your mind by focusing on internal or external elements.
- External practice can include herbs and massages, and at times, even interacting with living organisms.These are some of the best techniques for relaxation and meditation to soothe your ever-running mind.
Pick one of these best relaxation meditation techniques, and you are already on the right track. More than an activity, it needs to be a necessity of modern times. No matter whichever you choose, be consistent with it and take the time to do it every day. We wish you a calm mind and relaxed times.