Meditation for Stress Relief
Updated: Nov 1
Meditation for Stress Relief:
Humans keep evolving all the time and with all the levels of evolving our complexity increases and sometimes we are unable to understand the complexity and fail to respond in a sane manner. I am sure everyone reading this article must have at least experienced a situation where you were not able to decide, it was too conflicting, and your head felt like exploding with tension. Yes, we all go through that some or the other point in life. But if this feeling never fades away it might lead to other health issues. Thus, managing to live peacefully is as important as eating food.
What is STRESS?
The pressurizing feeling of not able to cope up or not being able to manage with is known as stress. Stress can be seen as something disturbing the mental harmony or the physical one. It is a reaction our body goes through when there changes in physical, mental, or emotional responses.
Causes of STRESS.
Everyone has their own stress triggers. You might be unhappy at your current job or too much of workload and responsibilities on your shoulders. Conflicts and fights with loved ones or any other emotional problems including anxiety, anger, guilt, low self-esteem, depression, and grief. There are times when you feel stressed while going through a physical injury or a painful surgery. Thus, we can conclude that there are many reasons to be stressed. Sometimes feeling stressed helps you to push yourself a little harder to conquer but sometimes you feel stressed for a long time which can affect your health.
How it affects your body?
When you are in a stressful situation, the nervous system of your body releases hormones. Those hormones make you decide if you want to fight and tackle the situation or leave the situation. Its generally called “fight or flight response”. You may notice that you start getting sweaty and you can hear your heartbeats beating in your chest loud and clear. You may notice that muscles are getting tense and your breathing is faster. If this kind of stress is short term then it won’t harm much, but if you keep feeling this way persistently and are not able to calm yourself and start adapting to live this way then that would lead to major health crisis like Hypertension, abnormal heartbeat, heart disease, indigestion, fertility problems, etc.
How it affects your daily life?
You might even overlook that you are stressed, but it affects your daily life as you start experiencing mood swings, tiredness, difficulty in sleeping, headaches, appetite changes. These might lead to a down road with other relationships in your life or not performing well at exams or job.
How managing stress is important?
As natural it is and as common it is, managing stress is very important to survive and live peacefully. There are many ways one can feel relaxed and release stress. Everyone has their own way to release stress, some play video games, some listen to music, some engage in physical activities like exercises and yoga. People often opt for meditation while practising yoga. In this article, we would be focusing more on meditation for stress relief as it is the most fruitful method till now.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice where the individual focuses on his breathing and eventually calms down and is able to process chaotic thoughts and feelings. It is a road towards enlightening yourself. It is a mental exercise which includes relaxation, awareness and practicing focus. It's more like training your brain. It increases the grey matter in your brain which leads to more positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability and heightened focus during daily life.
How meditation can help in releasing stress?
Meditation gives you a sense of calmness, peacefulness, and balance that benefits our mental and physical health. Staring your day with meditation will help you cope up with difficult stressful situations throughout the day.
It helps you gain a new perspective in handling the stressful situations.
While meditating, one goes through the process of introspection which leads to more self-awareness.
It helps you grow and be the bigger person to deal with everything with more patience.
It reduces negative thoughts and helps you to be more optimistic.
So, to begin with, here are some types of meditational methods, try practising all of them and feel better. Please note that you would be able to observe a huge difference once you start practising it daily.
Types of Meditation:
1. Mantra Meditation:
Sit comfortably in a quiet place and breathe deeply.
Close your eyes and keep repeating a word, for some people, it is easier to focus on a word than on breathing patters.
Keep focusing on the word "OM" as you chant the word.
Repetitive sounds clear the mind keeps you more alert and in tune with your environment.
Allows you to experience deeper levels of awareness.
Keep practising until you feel better. Practice every day for the benefits.
2. Mindfulness Meditation:
Sit comfortably and focus on your breathing. Observe your breathing rhythm and feel the effects of inhaling and exhaling all over the body.
Close your eyes.
When you feel calm, your mind might wander here and there, many thoughts might rush in, do not run away from these thoughts. Give attention to your thoughts, try to analyse your thought without any judgement.
Do not get too involved with one thought, just let it pass.
This kind of meditation helps to create awareness of one’s thought process.
It is easy and can be practised alone.
3. Transcendental Meditation:
It is similar to mantra meditation, but more customizable.
Sit comfortably and think of a series of words that make you feel better.
Close your eyes and breathe, start repeating those series of words.
Keep focusing on the words and try repeating those word in the right order.
At first, it might be difficult, but once you zone in, you will automatically notice that without any efforts you can repeat those series of words correctly without any effort and you will start enjoying that phase.
When you feel better, open your eyes softly.
4. Movement meditation:
Whenever you feel stressed, try doing some activities that include gentle movements like walking or gardening.
It is good for those who find peace in letting their mind wander off while doing some activity.
This helps you to distract yourself from the current stressful situation and leads you to let go of that disturbance.
In the end, you would feel better with a neutral attitude and take a decision which is not based on your emotions.
5. Scan environment:
Sit outdoor or sit comfortably facing a window.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing till you feel calm and composed.
Open your eyes and notice 5 things around you that you can see clearly.
Notice 4 things around you that you can hear.
Notice 3 things around you that you can feel.
Notice 2 things around you that you can smell.
Lastly, notice 1 thing that is around you and you remember how it tastes.
6. Scan your body:
Place yourself in a relaxing position.
In this type of meditation, one must focus on the entire body and nothing else.
So, after settling yourself, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
First, focus on your toes, move them a little and focus on the toes.
Then, observe your ankles, observe them while moving them clockwise and anti-clockwise.
Keep breathing and gradually move up and feel your calf muscles and knees.
Then, let your focus shift to the thighs and buttocks.
After doing so, attend your abdominal area, observe its movement while you are breathing.
Observe your chest and diaphragm moving while inhaling and exhaling.
Now, focus on your shoulders and arms till your fingertips.
Then focus on your neck for a while and then your head.
You can repeat the same from head to toe again.
Repeat this process until you feel better.
7. Focused Meditation:
This kind of meditation involves concentrating on something using any of the five senses.
This meditation can be practised by anyone who needs additional focus in their life.
First of all, place yourself comfortably.
Then suppose you are using your eyes for this meditation, you will have to focus on any small point near you or light a candle and focus on the flame, its movement.
If you are using your skin as one of the senses to concentrate on, then you could feel the wind or the air passing by and focus on the friction on your skin.
8. Guided Meditation:
In guided meditation, one might need professional help at first to get a proper script. But it is not that tough to practice it by self.
You need a script, so write down the most peaceful moment you had or imagine a scene you think that can make you feel better.
Once your script is ready, you can sit comfortably or any position you think will make you feel better.
Now start breathing deeply and start visualizing the script.
By the end of the visualization keep focusing on your breathing.
Open your eyes slowly and observe the surrounding.
Please note that if you are not sure how it works get professional help or read scripts available or audio files are helpful too.
Please note that managing stress is very important in our life especially when life is moving so fast. Try these methods and you will realize that one of these methods is more fruitful to you. Practice it daily and be optimistic.