Many believe that meditation in any form is about spirituality, about reaching higher levels of consciousness, about religion and anything ‘out of the material’. And in a way they are right. However there is also another side of meditation, which is very much ingrained in our hectic lifestyle and has nothing to do with the ‘otherworldy’: stress relief. Many people use stress relief meditation in order to relax, to unwind, to de-stress and just feel better after a heavy day at the 9-5 job. Here are a few tips to get you started with stress relief meditation, one of the more modern meditation types that anybody can perform, regardless of their spiritual views of the world.
- Find a quiet and uninterrupted place that is comfortable for you. You could use your bedroom for this, if you’re alone at the time, and you have privacy. Or you could use your study, or even the kitchen. Anywhere where you can take 20 minutes off your daily routine to do something else, and you can take these 20 minutes on a daily basis at a more or less regular time. If you must, put out a ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door to make sure you are indeed not disturbed. Time out all the background noises except healing Reiki meditation music.
- Once you are ready to meditate, you might be wondering ‘so what now’. Well, first of all, you will sit quietly on a chair with your back straight against it. Then just relax your body and think of one particular thing. Focus on one thing, do not let you mind wander aimlessly. For example think of something happy, something that calms you down and puts a smile on your face. For example something that you will do soon, some vacation plans, visiting your family abroad, your next course in crocheting, anything that is positive. Eliminate any negative thoughts from your mind. If they try to intrude, do not worry, simply gently bring your mind back to the positive thoughts. You can do all this with closed eyes or even eyes open. I do both and I have good results either way. The whole purpose of stress relief meditation is to help your mind focus on one thing only, and to practice shutting out negative thoughts from your mind.
- You really don’t need to set aside too much time for stress relief meditation. Start with 5 minutes a day, and then increase up to 10, 15 and eventually even 20 minutes. The important thing here is to practice it regularly, and about the same time every day. And if possible, in the same place. This creates a familiar surrounding atmosphere where you will be achieving a meditative state faster than if you do it once in the kitchen, once in your study and once in the bedroom. Think about when you want to go to the bed. Trying to sleep on the couch outside is not as effective than preparing yourself properly, changing into your pyjamas, brushing your teeth and going under the warm cover. The same with meditation. Regular, constant practice in the same environment will give you much better results, and every time you practice you will get better at it than before.