How You Can Meditate Your Stress Away
We all know how damaging stress can be to our health. Practicing meditation regularly can counteract all of the damage caused by physical and emotional stress.
What is meditation? Meditation is a way of clearing and training the mind. Meditation increases your self awareness. It teaches you who are you really at your core, beneath all of the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself. It can help you to develop inner peace and raise your self esteem. It teaches you to be in the moment, and to accept the present moment.
A lot of emotional stress is caused by you wanting things to be different than they are. Meditation can teach you that no matter how it is now, that you have a seed of patience, calmness and clarity at your core that you carry with you always. All you have to do is sit and breath to feel the peace.
So it helps your mental health. It is also excellent for your physical health. Meditation is great for your heart. As we slow down our breathing, our blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol all come down. Our lipid peroxide levels also come down. High lipid peroxide levels are linked to arteriosclerosis. It can boost your immune system, helping you fend off illnesses and helping you recover faster if you do get sick. Meditation boosts your serotonin level which boosts your mood. Low serotonin levels lead to depression, insomnia, obesity and headaches. It reduces PMS symptoms. And it helps you sleep better at night.
So with all of these benefits, why wouldn't you set aside a few minutes a day to meditate? Because it is boring? You don't have the time? Too uncomfortable to sit in one spot for so long?
Malarkey! There are many different ways to meditate. You just need to find one that works for you.
Let's look at your position first. You should have your back straight but relaxed, not rigid. Sit right up on your sit bones. Imagine a string attached to the centre of your head pulling your head straight up. You need to be comfortable but alert so you won't fall asleep. Here are a few positions you can try:
- Easy posture- sit cross legged on the floor.
- Diamond posture- kneel down and sit on your heels with your legs pressed together.
- Chair posture- sit on a chair with both feet on the floor, hands resting on your knees.
- Lotus- sit cross legged but lift your lower left leg on the upper right thigh, and your lower right leg on your upper right thigh.
More details about meditation postures:
Dvds for Meditation
How to Meditate
It is important that you are comfortable and relaxed during your meditation. You also so not want to be interrupted. It is nice if you can find a quiet place in your house that you can use for a meditation spot. A place where you won't hear the phone ringing or clock ticking. Here you can put things that you find relaxing. Pictures of nature or people you love. Plants are nice. A chair to sit on or a cushion if you want to use it. You can burn a little incence or scented candles to help set the mood if you like. If you find it a little too quiet, play a little music. There are many meditation CDs on the market. I found a few radio stations I like that play meditation music.
Found your seat? Great, let's get breathing.
Settle in and get comfortable. Relax your muscles. You can stretch out with a little yoga first or try progressive muscle relaxation if your muscles feel a little tense.
Now close your eyes. Breathe. Do not try to change anything just yet. Just notice your breathing pattern. What does it feel like? Feel the cool air enter your nostrils. Feel your chest expand, your stomach rise and fall with the inhale and exhale. Is your breath shallow or deep? Probably a little shallow at first. Now try to breath a little deeper. Keep it smooth and don't force it. Breathing too deeply can also cause tension. Just try to breath a little deeper. Make your exhale a little longer than your inhale. Do this for five to ten minutes at first. Gradually you can increase your time for as long as you want. Just try to practice at least once a day.
Focusing on your breath is a basic beginners meditation, but it is also very powerful.You can relax and calm yourself down just by breathing deeply. Try it during any stressful situation and see how life changing this practice can be.
Here's one you can try:
- Surrendering to meditation
My personal look at an impact of meditation in my life. How to change one breath at the time.