Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meditation as Stress Management

Stress is purely a mental problem. When the mind goes haywire, then the rest of your body will also do the same. You will become emotionally unstable when you're under the throes of stress and you will mostly like feel the repercussions on your body, like muscle cramps, headache, and more. It is important that a person learn stress management techniques to get rid of it before it becomes permanent.

Stress Is All In Your Mind

The initial effect of stress is in our minds. Our normal thought patterns are disrupted.  These patterns, once disrupted would lead to confusion. This would eventually negatively affect us both emotionally and physically if subjected to it over an extended period of time. Stress is oftentimes caused by both work and financial matters. Friends and family members can also become a source of your problem.

Since stress starts with the mind, you need take the necessary steps to control it within your mind. Relaxation plays a major role in stress management.  Relaxation is often the prelude to every other technique that you use to help you cope with the problem.  It is a fact that we can think clearly when we are in a relaxed state -- we weigh each thought that passes through our minds calmly and rationally, whether it’s a problem or just some stray thought from the day's events.

Meditation to Help You Relax

One way to help your mind relax is through meditation. This method can help you focus your mind clearly on a problem without getting distracted and come up with the right solution to get it out of your system. After all, a calm and focused mind can easily cope with stress.

There are several ways to practice meditation.  You can either enroll in meditation classes and be instructed in a group environment, or you can do it on your own. The former is perfect for those who have some spare free time, since meditation classes take around 2 to 3 hours per session. You will be guided slowly by your mentor on the different exercises, both mental and physical, to help you relax and focus your mind.

If you don’t have the leisure time available during your work day, then you can do it on your own for a few minutes while you're in the office or on a break.  Ideally, you can set aside an hour or so for quiet time at your house in a comfortable chair or bed.

Starting With Meditation

There are different methods and tools you can use to start meditation on your own. You can listen to calm music or chant a mantra. You can also buy books to help you achieve meditation through visualization techniques. Pick one that suits your individual taste and get started practicing.

First find a quiet place to start your meditation exercise. If it's your first time practicing, then make sure that you won't get distracted with the noise in your surroundings. Lock your room or tell everyone that you don’t want to be disturbed.

Start with the meditation by looking for a place where you can sit down and relax. Don’t lie down since that will only put you to sleep before you can complete the exercise. Apply your own relaxation method. Concentrate on your mind and let random thoughts fill your head. Observe each thought calmly as if you are watching a movie. If a stressful scene comes out, try your best not to focus on it, but push it aside and allow a new though to surface. Keep doing this exercise until you arrive at a time when your mind becomes comfortably fuzzy and blank.

Next you want to try to think of one problem that you want to solve and focus on it. Again, don’t get emotionally attached to the image and only observe it in passing. You will eventually arrive at a solution to the problem without even trying to do so.  That is the whole key to meditation.  Allow your thoughts to flow freely in and out of your mind and the best solution will undoubtedly present itself to you.  When you are done with your contemplation you can arrive on the best solution from all the thoughts that passed through your mind. 

I hope this brief explanation of meditation helps in some way.  If nothing else maybe it will peak your interest and encourage you to try meditation.  I hope you do practice meditation, it has been a great help to me.  I am much more patient now than I ever was in the past.  I also have developed some deep breathing techniques that go with meditation that help me calm down in stressful situations.  I enjoy meditating every night before I go to bed and try to set aside some times during the day as well because it is easy to fall asleep when you meditate before you go to sleep.  I also enjoy listening to brain entrainment and isochronic tones but that is another story for another day.

Here are a couple of positive affirmations for you:
"I am calm and relaxed in every situation."
"My work is deeply satisfying."
"I study and comprehend things fast."

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