Relaxation Technique Three: Meditation

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Relaxation Technique Three: Meditation

This is the third Relaxation technique in this series of articles. If you have missed the others, they were:

  1. Deep Breathing
  2. Progressive Muscular Relaxation

With the way our modern lifestyle is, maybe it is no surprise that we are often stressed out. Getting stuck in heavy traffic, crowded shopping centres (particularly during the build up to Xmas which is fast approaching), waiting in queues, phoning call centres, all cause a build up of stress. This stress needs to be released. Meditation is one fantastic way of relieving this stress. The form of meditation that I practice is very simple. It doesn’t require you going of to find a Buddhist Monk in the Himalayas. Although I’m sure that would be just such a wonderful experience. All you have to do is sit quietly and focus on your breathing.

At its simplest, meditation can be described as the focus of the mind on one thing. During my meditation session I direct all my attention on my breathing, and do not allow myself to think about anything else.  It is my way of calming and relaxing my mind. It can bring a source of tranquillity to your busy life.

Meditation is a tool for improving your health.  With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Stress makes you despondent, edgy and frustrated. It can also affect your health. Are you so busy that you feel there is no time to stop and meditate? In truth Meditation will free up time, by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten to fifteen minute meditation can assist you to rise above your stress and help you find inner peace.

Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind, allowing us to transform our mind from negative to positive, from troubled to calm, from unhappy to happy. A key strength of meditation is that it will enable you to overcome negative monologues in the mind and encourage constructive thinking.

Daily meditation will help you achieve a clearer mind and deeper relaxation, assisting your bodies natural healing processes and elevating your mental, emotional and physical health.

By practicing meditation on a daily basis you will be able to alleviate tension and further benefit from relaxation as well as prevent the build up of stress within you.

Simple Breath Meditation Techniques

Meditation Breathing Technique can help you clear your mind of all thoughts. You are going to totally focus on your breathing, and let go of all thoughts, just relaxing your mind and body.

Use this basic breath focus as your meditation technique. The key to meditation is simply slowing your heart rate and allowing your mind to focus on your breathing and nothing else.

The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. Breathing meditation can calm the mind and develop inner peace.

Try this exercise.

  • Choose a quiet place to meditate where you will have a minimum amount of disturbance.
  • Sit in a chair, get comfortable, while keeping your back straight and upright to prevent your mind from becoming lethargic or drowsy.
  • Now stay very still and quiet, with no distractions around. Your body should be comfortable and relaxed.
  • Partially close your eyes, leaving them only slightly open to allow enough light in to keep your brain alert in order to avoid sleep mode setting in.
  • Turn your entire attention and focus to your breathing. Allow yourself to breathe naturally. Don’t try to adjust your breathing. Don’t consciously try to make any changes. Just let yourself breath. Keep observing your breath.
  • Notice your breath coming in and out of your body. Does it come in your mouth and out your nose? Notice your chest and tummy rising as you breathe. Just sit still and pay attention to your breathing. If your thoughts turn away from your breath, simply bring them back.
  • If you find your attention starting to drift away from your breathing, such as thoughts about other things popping in to your head, or distractions caused by external noises, gently bring your full focus back to your breathing. Just let any other thoughts go. Keep your complete attention on your breathing. Just observe your breaths.
  • Notice the speed of your breathing. Become aware of the rhythm of your breaths. Discern the depth of each breath. Keep breathing. Notice the subtle changes that will automatically happen. Still, remain just an observer, don’t try to adjust your breathing in any way, just let it happen on its own.
  • Keep concentrating on your breath, and simply watch it come and go. Spend at least a couple of minutes merely noticing your natural breath as it is happening, experience the rising and falling of both your chest and abdomen. Observe how air passes through your nostrils and throat.  Examine the sensation of your breaths leaving through your lips.
  • Keep concentrating on your breathing. If you are not breathing in through your nose and out through the mouth, this is the time to adjust it. Let your breaths go deeper, but let your mind remain silent.
  • Just observe how you take in the air. Feel it filling your lungs. Now hold your breath for a second or two, keeping it in your lungs, then breathe out, and then wait for another second or two before you breathe in again. Keep doing this for about a minute.
  • Now go back to breathing naturally without trying to control your breathing, refocus on the sensation of each breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Concentrate on this sensation, nothing else.
  • Now adjust your focus to the sensations you feel at the end of your nose and to your lips as you take each breath in and out. Relax. Simply observe.
  • Keep focused on each breath you take. Remain focused single-mindedly on the sensation of the breath. Keep your mind concentrated on your breath.
  • When the otherwise incessant flow of our distracting thoughts is calmed through concentrating on the breath, our mind becomes unusually lucid and clear. We should stay with this state of mental calm for a while. When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within. Experience this sense of inner peace, contentment and relaxation.
  • Keep observing the air coming in and out your body. Feel the sensations in your nose and mouth. Keep watching. Just be aware. You are simply observing.
  • Breath in, breath out.
  • Now, breath in to the slow count of eight, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, hold your breath to the slow count of eight, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 and breathe out to the slow count of eight, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. By doing this you will give yourself an oxygen boost, and take you into an even more relaxed state.
  • Now go back to breathing naturally without trying to control your breathing, refocus on the sensation of each breath as it enters and leaves your nostrils. Concentrate on this sensation, nothing else.
  • Merely stay in this position of watching your breathing as long as you wish.
  • When you wish to exit the meditation state, still keep your eyes closed and just sit quietly for two or three minutes, then gradually open your eyes becoming aware of your surroundings. Stretch out, and resume your activity.

Note: Sometimes you just need to take a 10 to 15-minute chill out time, just to clear your head of clutter, and let yourself relax. . So use this meditation technique and let yourself just be – and let your mind experience a period of tranquillity.

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About the author: Larry Lewis
My name is Larry Lewis, Health & Wellness Life Coach, Founder of Healthy Lifestyles Living, contributor to the Huffington Post, recently featured in the Sunday Mail Newspaper and somebody who went from being an owner of a chain of gyms and fitness fanatic, to a visually impaired overweight and incredibly sick person. Read about my illness to wellness story.
2 Comments
  1. Alpana Jaiswal October 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I must confess that, at a time, I had absolutely no knowledge of the slowness of relaxation.True relaxation, which would do me the world of good, did not exist for me.What I can now dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical and mental fatigue.
    And the credit goes to you.dear Larry.

    • LarryLewis October 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Alpana you have desribed beautifully the essence of relaxation, which should come as no surprise to me from such a beautiful writer. With real relaxation you have the ability to find tranquility, and an oasis so that you can collect your mind, body and soul and bring them to their highest most effective point.

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