How To Easily Reduce Stress With Mediation and No, It’s Not Weird
Meditation is a great way to improve your health, lighten your mood, and feel more connected with your loved ones. For many though, it can be difficult to figure out how to get started, and for others, they think it’s something weird or awkward and avoid it altogether.
I want to encourage you to try something new today by trying the following tips:
First: Throw out any expectations or preconceived notions of what meditation is going to solve. This is one of many methods to overcome adversity and stress, but definitely not the only method needed in some cases. It takes effort, being consistent, and patience to listen to your mind and body. Think of it as an opportunity to get to know your mind better.
Second: Pick a time that works for you and stick to it. I like to suggest habit stacking, pick something you have to do each day, and stack meditation right after. For example, each morning you get dressed for the day, allow 5-10 minutes of quiet to practice meditation. I personally like my closet, it’s big, quiet, and no one bothers me early in the morning. Make sure your space is something you can relax in, and free of distractions.
Third: Start by giving yourself a moment to clear your mind of any existing stressors or thoughts.
Fourth: Begin with some mindful breathing. An example of this would be Inhale through the nose for 4 seconds, hold for 2 seconds, then exhale through the mouth for 6 seconds. Do this several times until you get a feeling of relaxation beginning. Then return to normal calm breathing. (This breathing technique is also useful for some people in preventing panic attacks when in high stress situations)
Fifth: Get comfortable. Sit, lay, or recline in a position that will keep you still and not distracted with the need to adjust for comfort. Each person is different in what works for them, but just make sure it’s comfy.
Sixth: Just breathe. Count the breaths, focus on how your body feels as you relax. I also like to say prayers of gratitude during this time. Starting the day with gratitude changes my outlook entirely. For you, depending on the timing of your meditation you may need another focus. Try these apps recommended by Sara Shah of Insider if you need a guide:
For daily use: Headspace
For sleep: Calm
For Variety: Insight Timer
For Skeptics: Ten Percent Happier
For Newbies: Simple Habit
Hope this help you today, leave a comment if you have one and enjoy!