Stress is a constant companion, and most of us, through lots of practice, have become experts at elevating our stress levels. The ability to relax is an acquired skill too. Luckily, you can teach yourself to handle stress in a manner that minimizes it. However, the more stressed you feel, the more challenging it can be to relax.
Discover how you can relax your body and mind when your stress levels are out of control:
- Take a moment to stretch. Stand up for a few minutes and stretch your body. Release the tension and stress in your muscles. Shake your arms and legs individually and get back to work. Try this. It works!
- If you have more time available, 30 minutes of exercise can work wonders. Avoid limiting yourself to the standard walk or jog. Play a match of tennis or attempt to break your personal bench press record. Consider whether you’d prefer to exercise alone or with others and make it happen.
- Listen to music. Music can be very soothing. The theme from Rocky might make you feel great, but might not be the best choice if you’re feeling agitated. Choose music that you find relaxing.
- Meditation is simple, but challenging. You can learn to focus your thoughts and relieve your tension. Keep your thoughts focused on your breath and return to these thoughts whenever you get distracted. What could be simpler?
- Reach out to others. Some of us find relaxation in being alone, while others feel better with others. Reach out to your friends and family. You can discuss your feelings and the challenges you’re facing. You could also choose to use the people in your life as a distraction. Go out to dinner or watch a movie. Have a little fun.
- Maybe laughter is the best medicine. Pull out your favorite video or spend the evening at a comedy club. Call your funniest friend for a chat. Read a book of jokes. Find something or someone that will make you laugh.
- Feel gratitude. It’s easy to forget about all the wonderful things in your life during challenging times. Make a list of all the blessings in your life. Focus on feeling gratitude. By reminding yourself of all the good things, the bad things won’t seem nearly as bad.
- Take a nap. One of the best ways to reset your nervous system is sleeping. Find a quiet place and lie down for an hour. A nap can be the best stress-buster.
- Think happy thoughts. Remember a happy, past event. Relive it in your mind. Creative visualization can be an excellent way to take a break from your stress. Be creative and enjoy yourself.
- Drop the caffeine from your diet. Caffeine and stress don’t combine well. Give your nervous system a reprieve and avoid caffeinated beverages. Do you really need to be any more stimulated?
- Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. You could also cover your ears and focus on what you see. You’ll just look sillier. Block off one of your senses and focus on your environment. This is an excellent way to be more present. Giving your attention to your surroundings will stop your mind from creating more stress.
Stress is a part of daily life. Learning to manage it makes life more enjoyable.
The best time to address stress is the moment it begins. There’s a momentum to stress. Once your stress reaches a high level, it’s far more challenging to reduce. Most stress-reduction techniques provide a small to moderate amount of relief. Use them sooner, rather than later, and prevent a meltdown before it happens.
Meditation isn’t complicated. However, it can still be difficult to meditate effectively and gain the most benefits from your time meditating. It’s a simple thing that requires a lot of experience to master.
There are many things that can disturb your ability to focus. If you can control the variables that interfere with your focus, you can learn to effectively meditate.
Try these tips to increase your meditation benefits:
1. Limit the distractions. Find a peaceful time and place for meditation. Turn off the radio, TV, and cell phone. Close the windows and doors to avoid the noise outside. Consider setting a timer to avoid meditating for too long or falling asleep.
2. Slowly increase the distractions. Most people meditate alone, in a dimly lit, quiet space. The real trick is to be able to meditate in a loud, crowded, uncomfortable space. If you can meditate under less-than-ideal conditions, the rest will be easy.
- Start with small distractions. Once you’ve mastered those, move on to more challenging ones.
- A great idea is to take a minute or two and try to meditate in each situation you face throughout your day.
3. Try meditating at the same time each day. Just as you get tired about the same time each night, your brain will learn to slow down and prepare for meditation. Just keep a consistent schedule to train your mind.
4. Limit your food intake before meditating. Avoid eating anything for a few hours before you meditate. Digestion requires a lot of energy.
- An empty stomach is one of the best ways to remain alert and focused during meditation.
5. Ensure you have the correct posture. One of the most important parts of meditation is sitting in an upright position.
Any slouching or leaning will create muscular tension to maintain that position. Sit up straight to achieve maximum comfort.
6. Relax your body.
Tension is the enemy. There is a tendency to tense the body when concentrating or focusing. This makes meditation more challenging.
7. Meditate in a familiar environment. It’s important to learn to meditate in a variety of environments, but try to spend most of your meditation time in one place.
- Focus on relaxing your muscles so it becomes a habit. You’ll find that when muscular tension starts to creep in, you’ll automatically start to relax.
You’ll begin to associate that location with meditation.8. Reflect on your meditation.
Ask yourself what you can do to meditate even better. Keep asking this question and use the answers to your advantage.
Meditation has so many benefits, but there are probably more benefits than you realize. The more effectively you meditate, the more you’ll get out of it.
When you first sit down to meditate, remind yourself that all your challenges and concerns will have to wait until you’re finished. This can be a powerful tool to keep distracting thoughts at bay.
Enjoy the benefits of a deeper and more meaningful meditation session. Put these tips into practice to reap the greatest rewards.
Today it seems as though everyone in society is busy. Who isn’t running around trying to juggle careers, schools and home life? This can become a traumatic experience for some. The pressure from your peers and friends to fit in and succeed are enormous. So how do you deal with all of this while still keeping your sanity?
Lately there has been a ton of research conducted on the benefits of meditating on a regular basis. Meditation is nothing new, by any means, it is an art form that has been practised for centuries. So why is it now being looked at as a healing process?
In short we can put it down to our society as a whole. Families today see both parents working and this places added pressure on the entire family. Everyone is always rushed. You go to work to run home and prepare dinner. Then there is homework to be done, laundry that needs doing and there seems like there is never any time for you!
Just look at some of the tools that you use in your life. You probably carry around a Smartphone or an iPad or laptop. This just increases your activity levels. Even on the bus or in the car you are busy doing something. Years ago a bus ride could have been viewed as a restful experience.
When was the last time you turned off all of your devices for 24 hours or even less? Quite some time ago I expect!
Meditation gives you that time in your day when you can slow down and relax. Just sitting in a comfortable chair and closing your eyes for 20 minutes can be a huge help. Your body and your mind finally have the time to take a break. You can stop thinking at a million miles per hour, instead you have the time to focus on just one thing.
Research has shown that using some type of meditation method has helped reduced stress, crime and violence in society. It has also shown increases in understanding, positivity and in people experiencing that peaceful, glad to be alive feeling.
You can really see just how busy we are as a society. This is why taking up the art of meditation is an excellent choice for many people. Meditating forces you to take time out, sit down and clear your mind.
After a few sessions of meditating you will notice that your concentration levels have increased as well as your productivity levels. Overall you will start to enjoy living life to the fullest again.