feel better. 5 meditation techniques you can learn for stress relief and better living
When we think of meditation, we often think of a dark room, with a lit candle and absolute silence. While it’s wonderful to have the perfect meditation space, life doesn’t always give us the perfection that we wish for.
The good news is that meditation can be done in many different ways, all you have to do is choose the meditation technique that fits your lifestyle and begin to practice.
But where to get started?
Unconditional love meditation
This type of meditation teaches us to let go of anxiety, frustration, conflicts, and resentment. It is also said to alleviate symptoms of depression and PTSD.
This meditation technique promotes feelings of compassion towards yourself and others, towards enemies and people that have hurt you, thus allowing you to let go of all hatred and resentment, and bring yourself to a state of peace.
Everybody has a story. Why a person becomes what they become is shaped by their past, where they come from, their culture, who has hurt them, their genetics and so on. The cycle of hate, greed, and frustration can end with you. This meditation will help you break the cycle of hatred thus allowing you to free yourself.
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that will help the practitioner keep his mind on the moment, be aware of surroundings, and live in the present.
Our minds wander constantly, either analyzing the past or planning for the future.
Mindfulness meditation teaches to pay attention to the present and brings awareness of your mind when it wanders off thus helping you stay calm, control stress and anxiety. It is also a good way to curb a panic attack.
For example, imagine that you are late for a very important meeting. There is traffic, and then you spill coffee all over yourself when you are about to get out of the car. This is a perfect time to practice mindfulness. Slow down, breathe, be aware of your surroundings, compose yourself and be in the present. Being late is not something that you can control at that moment in time, but there are other things that you can control.
Yoga is a mind and body workout that has origins in Indian philosophy some 5000 years ago.
Practicing Yoga has several beneficial effects on the body and mind, such as:
- increased flexibility
- increased muscle strength and tone
- improved respiration, energy and vitality
- maintaining a balanced metabolism
- weight reduction
- cardio and circulatory health
- improved athletic performance
- protection from injury
Zen practice is centered around:
- Observation of the breath (this is when you focus on breathing)
- Quiet awareness (You become aware of the thoughts that slip in and out of your mind)
Zen meditation involves observing and then letting go of thoughts and feelings. Zen practitioners feel that this practice brings you to face your deep-rooted issues as well as answer general life questions. It is based on practice and intuition rather than study and logic.
In this meditation, the focus of our awareness is on the experience of nature– the sights, sounds, touch, smells and (if you are adept in foraging) tastes. Nature meditation will also help you develop other senses (that we might not be aware of) that exist within us, such as Intuition.
Being in tune with the natural energy around us such as the earth’s and moon’s energy, as well as the four elements, (earth, air, fire, and water) is a lesson that nature is here to teach us, freely.
Our being resonates with the flow of nature. Awareness of natural life, of the plants growing, of the smell of mushrooms, of the connection between trees and the wind, of the roots that dig deep creating a network of communication with the forest, of the spirit of nature, bring us closer to our own natural selves. These experiences help our bodies thrive in a more natural rhythm. Nature lovers probably already practice this without even noticing.
Meditation practice is a great natural way to build inner resilience, feel peaceful within, and learn to let go of what is detrimental to your spirit.
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