Meditation is simple technique that anyone can use to help find calm, clarity, and relaxation during stressful times. Practicing meditation has countless benefits—both mental and physical. By practicing meditation just 20 minutes a day (they don’t even have to be 20 consecutive minutes) you’ll start seeing the benefits of this mindful practice. Try starting out with these 3 meditation techniques:
1 Minute – Relaxation Breathing
When to use it: Use this quick meditation technique for immediate relief of panic or anxiety, like during an argument, or when you’re feeling nervous or panicked.
Controlling our breathing, using longer exhales than inhales, can beckon the rest and digest mode in our nervous system, as opposed to the flight or flight mode. Practicing this mindful breathing technique can help prevent us from acting on impulse and respond to the situation thoughtfully.
How to do it: Close your eyes, deeply inhale counting to 4, exhale counting to 8. While you inhale imagine the oxygen traveling in through your body, during your exhale picture all the stress you’re holding floating out with the breath.
7 Minutes – Mindful Breathing Mediation
When to use it: Try to use this meditation technique twice a day to help increase overall focus, clarity, and calmness throughout the day.
By concentrating deeply on the breath—the rhythm, the sensation of each breath—you’re forcing an inner awareness and challenging the mind to stay focused despite everything else going on in your life. This 7-minute meditation can help to strengthen your ability to pay attention.
When you practice meditation daily you’ll notice your ability to stay focused and pay attention increase, while anxiety and stress will become less prominent in your life.
How to do it: Sit with a long, straight spine and find a slow rhythmic breath. Inhale and exhale 10 times (inhale 1, exhale 1, inhale 2, exhale 2, etc.), once you reach 10, start over counting backwards from 10 to 1. Repeat this breathing cycling 5 times. Once you’ve finished all 5 cycles, continue breathing at this pace (without counting) for 2-3 minutes.
5 Minutes – Body Scan
When to use it: Use this meditation before going to bed at night (or while in bed) to alleviate tension.
Using body scan meditation can help identify areas of out body holding tension and enable us to relax more fully. This type of mindful meditation can reduce sleep problems and improve depression and fatigue, according to research.
How to do it: Settle into a comfortable sitting or laying position and find a slow, steady breath. Once you’ve got your breathing under control, bring your focus away from the breath and to your body. Continuing with the slow breathing, check in with each and every little area of the body, from the toes, to foot, up the leg (calf, knee, thigh), through the hip, etc., and ending a the top of the head. When you find an area with build up tension, focus on that area of a bit slowly breathing in and out relaxing the muscle.