While it may not seem like it, stress is actually a necessary factor for living our lives productively. Stress can make us more creative, and help us to learn. It can also give us the boost we need in an emergency situation when we need to take action quickly. This is also known as the “fight or flight” response where our bodies gear up when a quick response is needed.
What’s the problem then?
Stress is only an issue when it becomes too overwhelming and disrupts our state of balance and equilibrium. This is increasingly common in our daily lives and is the cause of much of our illness and negative states of mind.
So what can we do to regain the balance and calmness in our lives again? One great way is through the use of meditation. While meditation has been practiced for hundreds of years, it’s still not used as much as it could be. Meditation is deceptively simple but extremely effective when used regularly. Because it is so simple, it’s actually sometimes a bit hard to do. For this reason, it’s important to make a regular practice of it.
One of the best forms of meditation for reducing stress is what is called Deep Breathing Mediation. With this technique, full, deep breathing is used for its cleansing effects. It is powerful and will bring on relaxation and overall wellness when practiced on a regular basis. To start feeling the positive effects, it really only takes a few minutes!
Deep Breathing Meditation Technique
To begin, find a comfortable spot where it is quiet. Make sure it is a place that there won’t be any interruptions. You can lie down and stretch out if this feels good to you. You can keep an object on your stomach, such as a book so that you can see it rising and falling with your breath. If sitting is better for you, find a comfy spot on the floor or chair, making sure to keep your back straight. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
Now you will focus on your breath. Breathe in deeply through your nose. You should see the hand on your stomach rising, but the hand on your chest will be only slightly raised up.
Next exhale, using your mouth. While you exhale, contract your stomach muscles. You will notice that the hand on your abdomen will move in a bit while the hand on your chest will again not move much.
One you have mastered this technique, you will want to continue inhaling and exhaling your breath in this way for 10 to 20 minutes. Doing this even a couple of times per week will be beneficial to you! A daily mediation ritual of course, is even better.
If you find it to be comforting, you can also do your meditative breathing techniques along with relaxing music in the background or even an aromatherapy candle.
To gain the benefit of stress reduction from deep breathing meditation, you will need to just focus on your breath. If your mind begins to wander, just acknowledge to yourself that a thought has popped in your mind and then go right back to focusing on your breath. After regular practice, you should be able to remain focused on your breathing more and more.
After regular deep breathing meditation, you will begin to reduce your response to stress and feel more at ease. Balance will begin to be restored through repeated exposure to meditation.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor