How Meditation Can Help You Manage Stress
How to manage your stress with meditation, The world is a difficult, stressful place. Everyone experiences stress sometimes, and a lot of people experience it on a regular basis. And while regular, long term stress can cause a number of health problems, many people don’t have much control over how much stress they experience. Fortunately, they do have control over how stress affects them. Meditation is a powerful tool for reducing stress in the moment and even making you less likely to experience it in the future. If you suffer from regular stress then you should learn how to manage it with meditation. It’s relatively easy to learn the basics, and you can do it pretty much anywhere, anytime you need to.
How Meditation Works
When you meditate, you focus your attention inwardly. Having your attention taken away from the outside world itself is a help, distracting it from being aware of the things that you feel stressed about. This distraction helps you relax and feel calm. However, this inward focus also takes your attention off of your inner thoughts and feelings, lowering your overall mental activity, and this can really help you calm down and relax.
Meditation is not that difficult to learn, at least in its most basic form. Get into a calm, quiet environment if you can. Wear comfortable clothing if you are able to. Sit comfortably. You can even lie down, if that would make you more comfortable. Close your eyes. Take long, deep breaths. Focus your mind on your breathing. Many people find that it helps to count your breaths. And that’s all there is to it, in its simplest form. The focus on your breathing helps to clear your mind of all distractions. Just do this for ten or fifteen minutes, and you should notice the results you’re looking for.
Some people find calm, soothing music to be an effective meditation tool. There is music that is designed for meditation, but any music you find relaxing and calming should work. You could also try recorded natural sounds like rainfall or the forest to help.
Slightly More Advanced Meditation
The first ritual there is what many people start with, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people use certain imagery to help them get into a deep, distracted, relaxed state. Instead of focusing on the breathing, try imaging a great, featureless white wall in the distance. Imagine yourself walking up to it until all you can see is the wall. Then, take away the wall. The blank, featureless view of the wall serves as a stepping stone to clearing out your mind. This can sometimes lead to a deeper meditative state than the basic ritual does.
Quick Meditation for Stressful Situations
Sometimes the stress is overwhelming and you can’t wait until you get home for meditation. In that case, just stand up and tense every muscle in your body at once, as hard as you can. Hold this for about 30 seconds, and then relax all your muscles at once. Then sit down for a moment and let yourself feel the relaxation. Breathe deeply and evenly, and count your breaths. The sudden relaxation after great tension produces a brief rush of endorphins that can help you quickly relax and get into a meditative state of mind.
Lunch Break Meditation
For something in between formal meditation practice and the quick emergency method described above, you can also get a short session in on your lunch break. Sit down and relax as much as you can. Loosen your collar or tie, if applicable. Put in some ear buds to drown out any noise and play some relaxing music or nature sounds. Count your breaths, or use the wall imagery. This may be rushed and distracted, and may not be as good as a full formal session, but it can still be a big help.
How to Manage Your Stress with Meditation
It may take a little while to get the hang of meditation, and you may have issues with your mind wandering or other distractions, but with a little practice, you’ll find that meditation can be an invaluable stress management tool. At High Expectations Counseling we specialize in helping you to integrate mediation into your daily life to manage stress, Call us today at 407-967-1327.