Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally, it was a method used by those who desired a spiritual and intuitive connection. These days, people around the world turn to meditation for relaxation and stress management. It's an inexpensive and simple solution that often brings profound and long-lasting results.
Not only does meditation (and related relaxation techniques) help bring peace of mind and less stress, according to the Mayo Clinic, scientific research shows that meditation may help such conditions as: allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Here are some ways you can practice meditation on your own, whenever you choose:
1. Breathe deeply
This technique is good for beginners because breathing is a natural function. Focus all attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When you feel your attention wander, gently return your focus to your breathing.
2. Scan your body
When using this technique, focus attention on different parts of your body. Become aware of your body's various sensations, whether that's pain, tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine body scanning with breathing exercises and imagine breathing heat or relaxation into and out of different parts of your body.
3.Focus on an affirmation, scripture or phrase
A mantra is the name of a sacred phrase that you repeat silently or aloud. An affirmation is a positive statement that brings you peace. You can create your own mantra or affirmation or you can memorize and ponder or repeat a verse of scripture.
4. Walking meditation
Combining a walk with meditation is an efficient and healthy way to relax. You can use this technique anywhere you're walking¡Xin a mountain path, on a city sidewalk, or at the mall. When you use this method, slow down the pace of walking so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet. Concentrate on your legs and feet and the movement of your body rather than on your surroundings or destination.
5. Engage in prayer
Prayer is the best known and most widely practiced example of meditation. Spoken or silent prayers are found in most faith traditions. You can pray using your own word out loud or in your mind. Begin your prayer with statements of gratitude. Then, from your heart, honestly pray for what you desire. Many Christians choose to conclude their prayers in the name of Jesus Christ.
6. Read or listen and take time to reflect.
Take time to read scriptures, poems or inspirational writings, and allow a few moments to quietly reflect on the meaning that the words bring to mind. You can listen to sacred music, spoken words or any music you find relaxing or uplifting. You may want to write your reflections in a journal or discuss them with your family or close friend.
Other relaxation techniques that are helpful and popular are: yoga, tai chi, hypnosis, or massage.
Essential Oil Tip
Neroli essential oil is extracted from orange blossoms and has a citrusy, floral scent. Neroli oil helps to instill relaxation, uplift mood, reduces feelings of anxiousness, and promotes overall well-being. Applied topically, Neroli can be used to soothe the skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes.
For this weeks homework, experiment with meditation and relaxation techniques, and find out what types work best for you. Adapt meditation to your needs each day this week. Remember, there's no right way or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps you with stress reduction and keeps you feeling better overall.