R.A.I.N. is an acronym developed by Michelle McDonald but adapted a bit by me, to…
Stress is a genuine health issue. And finding the right meditation exercises for stress can be a little stressful also. In this article, we’ll cover seven awesome meditation exercises that will help you push stress off to the side.
But before we dive into the actual exercises, I think we should discuss exactly what stress is and how it affects our bodies and minds.
What Is Stress And How Does It Affect Us
Stress is a condition that we as humans have been dealing with since we first walked this Earth. When you are feeling stressed your body starts to flood you with hormones. This is called the “stress-response”. It is quite normal and happens when you are feeling threatened or troubled.
This happens to all of us. It can happen when we are in a minor fender bender or when we are dealing with a serious life issue. You know the feeling, your heart begins to race, your muscles tense, and your breathing speeds up.
A way to deal with stress is to invoke the “relaxation response”. This was a technique developed by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson. This technique uses relaxation to counter the stress response. The goal of this response is that by practicing it repeatedly, this response will naturally kick in when you start to feel stressed.
We’ll cover some great meditation techniques below that will help you with the relaxation response.
Meditation Exercises For Stress-Focus On Breathing Exercise
This simple technique helps you focus on slowing down your breathing and dis-engaging your mind from any stressful thoughts. All you do is take deep, slow breathes. While taking these breaths focus on pushing away any stressful thoughts.
Do this exercise for about 10-15 minutes three times a day. Try doing this morning noon and night.
One word of caution. If you have any sort of serious respiratory problems consult your doctor before doing this.
Meditation Excercise-Using Visualization
Using the power of visualization will help you relax your mind and body. Using this technique is easy and has great results.
Find a quiet place to sit or lay. Begin to visualize yourself in a stress-free environment. This could be anywhere that makes you feel at ease. By doing this exercise you’re using your imagination. And by really focusing on your new environment your body will start to naturally begin to relax.
Do this exercise for 20 minutes a day.
Meditating Relaxation Technique-Perform A Body Scan
When using this technique you’ll be focusing your energy on your breathing and relaxing your muscles. After a few minutes of doing some deep breathing begin to turn your focus to any body part that you are feeling stress in.
Begin to mentally release any tension you feel in that area. By doing this exercise you’re training your body and mind to work together.
Do this exercise at least once a day. Spend at least twenty minutes on it and really concentrate on relaxing those tight muscles.
Meditation Exercises For Stress-Learn To Do Yoga
Yoga is a great way to get rid of stress. It combines deep breathing with actual physical exercise. Yoga can help you push away any stressful thoughts as you’ll be concentrating on the physical aspects of the exercises.
As a bonus, you’ll be improving your flexibility and balance.
You can search the web for a yoga studio near you or there are some great online yoga courses you can purchase for a very low cost and practice yoga from the comfort of your home.
Below is a great home course on meditation to remove stress.
Relieve Stress-Use Prayer
This is honestly my favorite way to reduce stress. I come from a very religious upbringing and have had a life experience that let me know that faith is a real part of our lives. (I’ll explain what happened in another article.)
Do this exercise when you first get up in the morning and when you get into bed at night.
While saying a short prayer, start doing your deep breathing. Really concentrate on the prayer you’ve chosen. This puts me in a great mood almost instantly.
Relaxation Meditation-Give Yourself A Massage
Giving yourself a massage is another great way to reduce stress in your life. Try giving yourself a massage at night, after a stressful day.
Start off by rubbing your neck and shoulders. Use your fingers and rub in circular motions. Rub this area for five minutes.
Now begin to move up to the back of your head. Again rub this area in circular motions. Rub behind your ears also. Do this for two minutes.
Work your way to the top of your head. Rub this area in circular motions also. Do this for two minutes.
Finish off by massaging your face. Rub your cheeks, jaw, and temples. Rub this area for 2 minutes. Be sure to be doing your deep breathing exercises while giving yourself your massage.
Meditation Exercises For Stress-Mindfulness Meditation
To do this exercise begin doing your deep breathing. Now focus your thoughts on the present, not problems from the past or which may pop up in the future.
Worrying about what happens in the future can really lead to much stress. Or dwelling on a past bad experience can stress you out also. let whatever it was go and start fresh.
Focus your thoughts on what good things are happening in your life now.
Stress will not just cause mental problems but it causes physical problems as well. Getting control of stress will lead you to a more happy and more fulfilling life.
Try and do the exercises in this article daily. You’ll be surprised at how much they really do help.
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