How to Use Meditation to Relieve Stress

Before I knew anything about meditation I was never able to think of it in a ‘normal’ way. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I pictured someone sitting on the floor cross legged with eyes closed and doing the “ohm” ing. Now that I know about the benefits of meditation and don’t look at in a negative way I see what it’s about and how it can be beneficial. Meditation used to be a way to focus and gain religious knowledge but now it’s often used as a stress reliever and helps people live happier, longer and healthier lives.

What makes meditation so helpful in relieving stress? It causes you to have to focus your mind on one thing. By focusing on one thing, it forces you to forget what’s going on around you and all the stresses that go with the world around you. Sitting in a quiet room will help reduce the sights and sounds that may stress you. Stress causes mental damage so when you meditate in can repair that damage, both physically and mentally. You’ll become more relaxed and peaceful during meditation because the chemicals in your body actually change.

The benefits mentioned above are only short term. The above mentioned will help succeed in filtering out stress that you’ve already experienced therefore making you relaxed during and after meditation. So let’s take a look at the real benefits of meditation now, which are the longer term effects it will have on you. If you discipline yourself to meditate on a daily basis, it will help balance your hormone levels and other stress related chemicals; even when you’re not meditating. So not only can meditation help you unwind at the end of the day, it will help leave you more peaceful and less stressed during a long day at work.

So how do you meditate? The great thing about meditation is that is doesn’t require any physical skills. To have some good meditation you need mental skills but you can take baby steps. Start small and build your way up. Here’s how to get started.

  • For best results you’ll need a quite room where you can sit comfortably. One position isn’t ‘better’ than another, you just need to be comfortable so you can relax.
  • Once you are sitting comfortably close your eyes and begin to relax your muscles. You’ll do this by focusing on each individual muscle, starting at the feet and working your way up. Focus on the stress leaving each muscle and feel it leave as you relax.
  • Next begin to take slow breaths while repeating your mantra. If you don’t want to use the traditional “ohm” you can use something of personal importance to you. If you are spiritual, chant something related to your beliefs.
  • If you notice that your mind seems to be wandering, it’s ok. Remain calm and return to your mantra (your focus word/phrase).
  • Allow yourself 15 to 20 minutes of meditation. After the allotted time just sit quietly for a few more minutes and then you’ll be ready to return to your regular life.

The more often you practice this, the more trained your body and mind will become to relax, be peaceful and to focus. Not only will your stress levels be reduced by a regular meditation routine, but your physical and mental functioning will improve as well.

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