Stress is an emotional pressure suffered by a human or animal. It is the body’s reaction to any change that requires a response. As a result, the body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. But, it can be worrisome and dangerous to health if not controlled.
To practically understand stress, Imagine two persons working in a well conducive office. Not minding the 24 hours of A/C and Heater with other benefits attached yet one is always nervous and anxious.
What should be the cause? Stress!
In this page, we are going to answer important questions about stress and how best to control it. Most importantly, we are going to focus on meditation as a means of controlling stress.
How Can I Control Stress?
The only way to control it is through “Mediation”.
And, Meditation-for-stress is a step to step approach in controlling such mental disease.
What Is Meditation For Stress?
It is a devotional exercise used in identifying the causes and solution of stress in the house, workplace and other areas of life.
Techniques For Meditation For Stress
There are many techniques for meditation practiced in every community throughout the world. Hence, the under listed methods over time proved to be the most successful as recommended by experts.
Thus, the techniques include:
This is an essential part of eastern spiritual traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism.
But, depending on your tradition, spiritual meditation includes elements of silent, spoken, or a chanted prayer.
However, when practiced within a religious setting, meditation supports a deeper connection with the Divine. In non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism and Taoism, meditation is more focused on self-awareness and self-actualization. Therefore, through such medium, the only advice for practitioners is to become the best version of themselves.
Also, whether secular or non-secular, the insights that come to light through spiritual meditation can help us develop qualities of kindness and connection.
Consider also that the best venues for your spiritual meditation practice might be at home, or at your preferred place of worship.
Finally, it is well-suited for individuals seeking spiritual growth as well as those who appreciate setting time aside for self-examination.
Mindfulness is a meditation technique, which has become extremely popular in the West and based on the teachings of the Buddha. This can be instrumental in helping us understand how our minds work. This self-knowledge serves as a foundation for overcoming dissatisfaction, impatience, intolerance and many of the other habits that keep us from living fuller, happier lives.
To achieve this, there are several steps to follow if you want to become grounded in this technique. These includes:
- Acknowledging your reality.
- Being mindful of your body and thoughts.
- Observing your mind and recognizing each thought that arises without judging or manipulating it.
- Coming back to the object of meditation, such as the breath and relaxation.
- Learning to rest in and appreciate the present moment.
Ideally, mindfulness practice has shown to reduce depression, stress, and anxiety.
In this type of Meditation, the body is the bone of contention.
Basically, other types of meditation may encourage you to remain in one position, but, movement meditation focuses on the body in motion.
Walking meditation is one form of mindful movement, which you can also associate with yoga or tai chi and other martial arts.
Hence, you can combine this technique with mindful sitting meditation. Also, it can be a good choice for people who have trouble sitting still for long periods, as well as for those who naturally find it easier to concentrate while they are moving.
In this technique, we concentrate totally on whatever it is that we are doing. It is simply the exact opposite of multi-tasking.
You can relate this nature of Meditation to the greatest power of concentration of athletes, musicians, footballers, and chess-players during their exercise.
Furthermore, one traditional kind of focused meditation involves drinking a cup of tea. Here, you train in stopping all other forms of activity – no checking of your cell phone, no jumping up to let the cat out, no adding to the shopping list – and focus your attention exclusively to drinking your cup of tea. You might notice the sensation of warmth, the aroma, the heft of the cup in your hands. Whenever the mind wanders, you come back to drinking tea.
What Is The Fundamental Message Of Focused Meditation?
It makes us understand that to succeed in life, we too have to be able to focus on the task at hand and leave frivolities so as to avoid unnecessary stress.
What Other Examples Does It Illustrate?
Other examples can be: when you are eating, you are aware of the sensations connected with eating, when you are exercising, you are aware of the sensations connected with exercising.
Cases Of Easily Distracted Mind, How Do I Handle Such?
If you notice that your mind is wandering, you simply acknowledge that and bring your focus back to whatever you are doing. Moreover, with a commitment to the practice, your ability to concentrate will improve and you may rediscover the joy of being present.
In this meditation technique, we let the mind conceive an image that creates a particular feeling or quality. Simply put, we can close our eyes and imagine a beautiful mountain, an open sky, a familiar landscape, or any other image that speaks to us.
In one well-known visualization exercise, we imagine our thoughts and emotions as being leaves on a stream that the current gently sweeps downstream. This can give people who practice meditation distance from unwelcome mental activity and bring a sense of peace.
How Do People View Visualization Meditation?
Some people think visualization meditation is a kind of escape from the world since we imagine something that is not really present. But, if we stop to think about it, we realize that much of what goes on in our minds throughout the day involves refreshing memories of the past or focusing on hopes and fears for the future since they are not really there either!
As a result, visualization is a method that uses this powerfully creative aspect of mind for positive personal transformation. Therein, curbing stress.
Chanting meditation is a meditation technique recommended by many spiritual paths, from Western religions to Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
Thus, while chanting, you should focus the mind on the sound of the words and melody. In chanting meditation and other Eastern traditions, a repetitive sound, word, or phrase can be used to clear the mind and allow our spiritual strengths to reveal themselves.
Which Other Effect Does Chanting Meditation Create?
Those who enjoy chanting meditation often discover that their practice cultivates a peaceful, yet alert, state of mind. As a spiritual practice, it fosters deeper awareness and a stronger connection to positive human qualities such as compassion and confidence. As with any true spiritual practice, it is important to find a qualified teacher.
Ways To Practice Meditation For Stress
Although we have learned the techniques, its practice is paramount to it hence:
Locate A Quiet Place
We understand that the world is a distracting place and this may not be an easy chore. However, a serene environment where you can meditate without interruption is valuable when learning to meditate to reduce stress.
Note that as you become more proficient with meditation, outside distractions will bother you the less.
Although, at first, many things will probably distract you. You will hear cars driving by, birds and people talking. It is always best to turn off all electronic devices like cell phones and television to minimize things that could draw your attention away from your meditative task. Most importantly, a room with a door you can close usually works well.
As your meditation skills develop, you will find that you can meditate anywhere even in high-stress situations, such as traffic, work or crowded stores.
Decide On A Comfortable Position
Meditation can be done in any position such as lying down, walking, sitting. The key is to be comfortable. However, not too comfortable to avoid dozing off. On the other hand, discomfort is also a source of distraction and should be avoided.
Some people may feel more connected in a traditional cross-legged position. However, this can be uncomfortable for beginners, so consider holding up your bottom up on a pillow, sitting in a chair or using a wall to support your back.
Controlling Your Breathing
All meditation uses controlled breathing. Breathing deeply helps your body and mind relax. In fact, effective meditation can be practiced just by focusing on your breathing.
Breathe in through your nose and then out through your nose. As a result, you will have your mouth closed but relaxed while you breathe. Listen to the sound your breath makes.
Put your hand on your stomach. It should rise as you inhale and lower as you exhale. So, breathe in and breathe out at regular intervals.
Controlling your breath allows you to slow the rate of your breathing and fill your lungs with more oxygen per breath.
Taking deep breaths relaxes the muscles of your upper part of the body, such as those in the shoulders, neck, and chest.
Focus On Something
Paying attention to something or even nothing at all is an important component of effective meditation. The goal is to free your mind from distractions that cause stress to your body and mind will get a break. As a result, some people choose to focus on an object, image, or you can also focus on a blank screen or something else.
Moreover, your mind can probably get distracted during meditation. This is normal and to be expected even for those who have been practicing meditation for a long time. Therefore, when this happens, just bring your thoughts back to what you were focusing on when you started your meditation, whether it was an object, your breathing or a feeling.
Engage In Prayer
Praying is a style of meditation practiced all over the world in many different religious and non-religious contexts. Moreover, you can adapt the prayer to meet your needs, personal beliefs, and meditative goals.
You can pray out loud, silently or write down your prayer. And, it can be in your own words or those of others.
However, prayers can be fervent or casual. Decide on what best fits who you are, your belief systems and what intentions you want in the prayer. Also, you can pray to a god, the universe, yourself or to nothing in particular. It is up to you.
Try to clear your mind and avoid distractions, if you can. Put off any tasks that can wait until after you have finished meditation. In addition, as you are taking in your breaths, let all your worries go. Stop stressing or thinking about commitments, appointments, and responsibilities. Save that for later. Instead, become self-aware. And, imagine yourself in a happy place.
This place may be from a holiday a few years ago, when you were younger, an imaginary place or you simply sitting alone in a park. Certainly, the point is that you get a good feeling from the location.
Another option is to practice mindfulness meditation. Simply focus on what you are experiencing at the moment. And, focus on your breathing, what you hear or smell right now. Never forget to always bring your mind back to your breathing as often as possible.
Relax Your Body
Gently keep your eyes closed, continue to breathe deeply and imagine all your body slowing down. As a result, your heartbeat, your blood flow, all the way down to your feet everything should begin to feel loose and less heavy. Moreover, continue imagining yourself in your blissful place while breathing slowly for the next few minutes.
Scan your body to find areas that feel tense from stress. Start with your toes and move all the way up to your scalp. And, imagine that each deep breath flows into that body part as heat or light. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat for each tense area.
Take Your Time
Do not be bothered about how long you should meditate. Keep meditating until you feel relaxed and refreshed. If you need a time frame, studies show that 5 to 15 minutes is beneficial. Once you feel like it is over, open your eyes and feel the benefits.
Benefits Of Practising Meditation For Stress
Meditation provides a lot of benefits particularly health and psychological.
It helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social worries, suspicious thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and panic attacks.
Habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, fears, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Promotes Emotional Health
Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
However, the inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which the body releases in response to stress can affect mood, leading to depression. However, through meditation for stress, the release of these chemicals will decrease.
Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
For example, self-inquiry meditation openly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you.
Lengthens Attention Span
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. As a result, it helps to increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
May Reduce Age-Related Memory Loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
However, chanting is a method of meditation that combines a hymn or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus thoughts. This improved participants’ ability to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of age-related memory loss.
Can Generate Kindness
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
A typical example is a loving-kindness meditation which you can refer to as Metta, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself. Through this practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances and finally enemies.
May Help Fight Addictions
The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors.
Furthermore, meditation will help you learn to redirect your attention, increase your willpower, control your emotions and impulses. Also, you can increase your understanding of the causes of your addictive behaviors.
Summarily, meditation will also help you control food cravings.
Nearly, half the population still struggle with insomnia at some point.
Thus, Meditation can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you are more likely to fall asleep.
Although, the article has detailed the terms, techniques, and benefits for us. We should bear in mind that while meditation can provide short and long-term benefits for us. It also should be a pleasant experience.
Do not forget that creative, relaxing activities are also part of the meditation process. Listen to music, paint, read, garden, write in a journal, or watch a flame in the fireplace.
These activities can focus your mind, decrease stress and alter brain waves into a meditative state. By so doing, you will live a life worth emulating!