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Meditation isn’t some new-age fad. It’s an easy, yet effective, method that you can use to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Whether or not you have ever done it before, these three meditation techniques can provide significant physical and mental health benefits.
Meditation Techniques Anyone can use to Reduce Stress
1) Relaxation Breathing
Relaxation breathing is one of the more common meditation techniques, which is used to relieve symptoms of stress or anxiety. This simple exercise involves regulating your breath to help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
How to do it
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
- Count to four, then exhale to a count of eight.
- As you inhale, visualize the movement of oxygen through your body.
- As you exhale, imagine your stress and anxiety floating away.
- Repeat five times.
Relaxation breathing is known to be an effective way deal with panic, anxiety and acute stress.
2) Mindful Breathing Meditation
Mindful breathing works to help you gain awareness of being in the present moment. You can use it to stop thoughts about the past or future, which can trigger ruminations and raise stress levels. This common technique can improve your focus and attention, as well as provide a greater overall sense of clarity and calmness.
How to do it
- Sit comfortably in a chair and let yourself ease into a slow, steady breathing rhythm.
- Count your inhales and exhales from one to 10.
- After you reach 10, start over, but this time count backwards.
- Repeat the cycle five times.
- Visualize your breath moving through your respiratory system and appreciate its relationship with your body.
In mindful breathing meditation, your objective is to concentrate on the rhythm of your breath in order to turn your focus away from the distractions of daily life.
3) Activity-Oriented Meditation
Activity-oriented meditation is a technique that combines meditation with enjoyable activities. It can help you learn to focus on the present moment while enjoying an activity like gardening or yoga. This type of meditation quiets the mind while you “get in the zone” experiencing a repetitive activity.
How to do it
- Schedule some free time when you will be uninterrupted by distractions.
- Put on comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Pay attention to your breathing.
- Focus on the physical sensations in your body.
- Repeat a mantra in your head.
- Try to block out negative thoughts.
This technique is a great introduction to meditation, because it is easy to learn and practice. If you have trouble “getting in the zone,” you can move in and out of meditating over the course of the activity.
These three common meditation techniques are an easy way to ease your mind and calm your body. By practicing them regularly, you will soon notice a difference in your physical health and mental outlook.