You know how it goes—working, going to school, doing homework, keeping a clean house, getting the kids to their sports or other hobbies, cooking meals, doing yard work, going grocery shopping, running errands and much, much more.
Life can become stressful quickly. Everyone has some amount of stress in their lives. However, sometimes it can become overwhelming, leaving you feeling drained and anxious. Once the stress and anxiety cycle begins, it can be hard to break free. One of the best and easiest ways to reduce stress is meditation, so give meditation for stress a try.
How Does Meditation for Stress Work?
Meditation promotes relaxation, feeling calm and inner peace. Anyone can learn and practice meditation, and you can meditate anywhere. When you meditate, you focus your attention and let all of the stresses and anxieties you feel fall away.
You may be thinking that meditation sounds hard to do, and that you can’t stop thinking about everything on your mind. That’s normal to feel, and there are meditations available that help you turn your attention to something calming.
Start Your Day with Calm
If you typically wake up and immediately start getting ready for your busy day, you’ll probably start feeling stressed quickly.
Use a basic meditation before you start your morning routine, so you start your day calm. Here’s how:
- Wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual.
- Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit.
- Close your eyes.
- Tilt your head toward your heart.
- Focus on feeling your breathing—in and out.
- Repeat a mantra in your mind, such as “I am safe” or “I am at peace.”
- Continue focusing on your breathing and your mantra until you hear the timer.
Now, you’re ready to start your day from a calm place instead of a hectic one.
Use Deep Breathing
Whether you’re having a surge of anxiety or are feeling stressed overall, deep breathing is a great way to help you relax and stay calm. You can practice deep breathing anywhere, including at work. Here are the steps for deep breathing:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
- Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- Inhale slowly through your nose, focusing on feeling the hand on your stomach rise.
- Keep the hand on your chest as still as possible.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth, gently pushing out as much air as you can.
- Focus on feeling the hand on your stomach moving while keeping the hand on your chest as still as possible.
- Repeat as needed.
Try Guided Imagery
Guided imagery or visualization is a type of meditation that many people find helpful. In guided imagery, you focus on picturing a relaxing scene. Then you use your senses to help you feel the scene you are picturing.
You can also use deep breathing during meditation to help you relax even more. Here’s how to do guided imagery meditation:
- Close your eyes.
- Allow your mind to wander to your calm place.
- Picture your place as vividly as you can. It can be anything you want, such as the beach at sunset or a beautiful forest.
- See all the colors in the sunset or watch the sun dot the forest floor.
- Hear the sound of the waves or the rustling of leaves in the breeze.
- Smell the salty air or the pine trees.
- Feel the water on your feet or how soft the forest floor is.
- Taste the freshness in the air.
- Allow yourself to focus on all the images and sensations that come through your calm place.
- Let your worries drift away on the breeze in your mind as you explore this restful environment.
Once you feel ready, you can start wiggling your fingers and toes to help you come back to the present moment. Then you can gently open your eyes.
There are many different kinds of meditations and ways to relax. Find the kind of meditation for stress that works best for you. Remember, you don’t have to be stressed to meditate. Incorporate meditation for stress into your daily routine. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes to meditate.