How often do you find yourself looking for different ways to de-stress and just calm down? I know I do. For me, meditation has proven the perfect way to calm my body, mind, and soul.

We live busy lifestyles and it can be challenging for us to find time to enjoy hobbies, activities, like spending time with our loved ones, but it also distances us from our own well-being. Relaxing meditation techniques are a great way to rekindle awareness and stay in touch with your feelings.

Here are the 5 meditation techniques I turn to when I want to calm down and get in touch with me.
  1. Mindful Meditation
Mindfulness is what many psychologists call in-the-moment nonjudgmental awareness. It revolves around sitting quietly and focusing on your breath as you let your thoughts flow through without reaction.

This is the meditation technique I turn to when I’ve had a busy, stressful day. It’s not about focusing on the day’s pain, but rather letting go of the struggles. I find walking meditation especially helpful.

Here’s what I do:
  • I find a 10 to 20-footpath to walk along
  • I stand still for a moment and just let myself tune into my body and tension
  • Then I start walking, repeating words like lifting, shifting, and planting
As I walk, I concentrate on the shift of my body with each step. The whole point is to let go of expectations. Take note of whatever happens during the walking process and let it all pass through instead of allowing it to fester for another stressed out day.
  1. Interactive Imagery
If you’ve ever tried guided imagery, you might like this meditation technique. Rather than summoning a particular image, though, you let images come and go, accessing your unconscious by talking about images and what they specifically mean to you. This is what I do:
  • I start off in a quiet spot, focusing on progressive relaxation (see technique 3 below)
  • As I do this, I breathe in, imagining I’m inhaling wholesome air and healthy nutrients. I hold the breath for about 8 seconds, and then slowly breathe out, imagining all the toxins floating out of my body
  • Then I count backward from 10, slowly and deliberately
  • I like to visualize a stream at this point, using every sense to feel it, smell it, see it and even taste the surroundings
  • In my visualization, I walk down a path and at the end, I see an image that represents a particular pain or anger. I talk to the image about my feelings and thoughts and as I do, I find my tensions melting away until I am ready to breathe again and come back to the now.
 
  1. Progressive Relaxation
This is one of my favorite techniques for calming not just my soul, but my entire being. Progressive relaxation is an easy technique and it offers incredible calming benefits. The whole idea is to progressively tense and relax different parts of your body.

I like to start at my feet, moving all the way to the top of my head, but you can start at the top and work your way down if you prefer.

Simply tense each muscle group for 5 to 10 seconds and then release. I prefer to lie down comfortably and focus on breathing while I clench and release my toes, feet, calves, and upward.
  1. Focused Breathing
Sometimes we just need to fit in a quick bout of meditation to help calm down. The best way to do this is just breathing.

Try this. Close your eyes and bring your awareness to the sensation of breath flowing into your body as you inhale and leaving your being as you exhale. Feel the breath going in and out of your nose or mouth. Be aware of the rise and fall of your chest. If your mind wanders, release judgment as you exhale.

When you start to feel better, slowly come back to focus.

Notice how much calmer you feel?
  1. Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is another technique I turn to when I feel wound up and agitated. I find a quiet spot and mentally repeat a mantra or calming words. The repetition helps me replace bustling, racing thoughts and shut out the outside world for a moment, calming my soul and my mind.

The next time you find yourself worked up, annoyed, and dwelling in your thoughts, try one of these calming meditation methods to help quiet the chatter and relax your soul.

 

Check out more relaxing suggestions at marksalinas.com.

 

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