We are all living during some incredibly stressful times right now. But even outside of these particularly trying times, life is full of potential stressors. There are many things in life that can act as triggers for stress - relationships, jobs, health, social events, and more.
One of the best things you can do to help you manage stress during this time is to practice meditation.
Sometimes when we think of meditation we think of sitting cross-legged saying “ommmm” for hours until you successfully purge your brain of all thoughts. While that is certainly one way to meditate, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of time, and it’s not the only way!
Here are a few easy meditation techniques that you can practice anytime and anywhere. I’d encourage you to try to incorporate at least one of these practices into your everyday life this week and take note of how it helps reduce anxiety, stress, and tension in your body.
- Count Your Breaths - As you inhale count silently to 4, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds again. Repeat 4 times.
- 60-Second Mindfulness Scan - Bring your attention to different parts of your body, starting with the top of your head and moving down to your toes. As your mind rests on each body part consciously relax those muscles before moving on.
- Practice Belly Breathing - Place one hand on your stomach and feel it expand as you take a deep breath in, you can pretend you’re blowing up a balloon in your belly. Hold for a moment then slowly exhale. Repeat for one minute.
- Perform Tasks with Purpose - Take the opportunity to turn even the most mundane task into a meditation exercise. Doing the dishes? Pay attention to the feeling of the water on your hands, the smell of the soap, and the sound of the faucet. By focusing on your senses you’ll be able to stay present and practice mindfulness.
Making meditation a regular part of your daily schedule can reduce your stress levels greatly and make a huge difference in your overall mood. However, there are some seasons in our lives that are particularly stressful and need more than meditation alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress and need someone to talk to you can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (310) 614-0323. I would love to help put together a plan with you to get you through this stressful time peacefully.