How to Meditate for Stress Relief

It has always amazed me how the mind and the body react so closely to each other.  This past week has completely turned my comfortable life upside down and while I knew I was stressed about it I didn’t realize just how stressed I was. Of course, I’d think about all stressful stuff but I was still feeling fine and still happy and healthy. And then I started to notice that I was gaining a bit of weight, I couldn’t go to sleep without taking a melatonin gummy and I couldn’t stay awake during the day without at least one cup of coffee if not more. Then things got really serious when my eye couldn’t stop twitching and then I got bumps on my tongue. Seriously…bumps on my tongue. Ew. Obviously, the stress was getting to me a little more than I thought.

So, I turned directly to meditation and have been doing it consistently every night to ease my mind and body. The way that I choose to meditate is pretty straight forward, easy to follow and also easy to customize to fit you!

stress
Chocolate is always a good idea!

1. Find something to appeal to every sense

Sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. I lit a candle for smell, I have a color changing salt lamp for sight, I had a piece of dark chocolate for taste, soft music playing for sound and one of my favorite cozy blankets for touch. This should be customized to fit you and your comfort. Sometimes my smell is insense, sometimes the sight is the lake in my backyard, sometimes I have a cup of tea instead of chocolate. All completely up to you. But make sure you hit every sense and have it be something that comforts you.

2. Find a quiet, peaceful place and set yourself up

My place is usually the floor in my room. It’s important that it’s quiet with rare distractions so you can focus in on all the things you brought for your senses. Set up your candles and music or whatever you else you brought. Turn off any lights if you need. I will usually set myself up on my floor with a blanket and just lay sprawled out. This is all about creating a space for you to be completely comfortable and at ease in.

3. Go through your senses

I start with my body. Feel how heavy it is, from your head to your fingers to your toes. Go through every body part and feel how it sinks heavy into the floor. But lie. dead. still. Do not move throughout this whole process unless to scratch your arm or sneeze, etc.

Focus on the smell.  Breathe it in deeply and let yourself exhale heavily. Ask yourself about the smell. Describe the scent or what it reminds you of. Paint yourself a picture in your head with the smell as an inspiration.

Savor your tea. Swish it around your mouth, feel it slide down your throat and warm your stomach. Taste every bite of whatever food you may have brought. Listen to your music and the instrumentals. Be very much in the moment.

stress relief 2
My recommended Pandora station for meditating. I also love the Lydia station and Explosions in the Sky station!

3. Your mind

Think of all the positives in your life. If your mind starts to wander to the negative, realize this and redirect your mind to something beautiful instead. Trust me, this may happen a lot and you’ll have to redirect yourself every ten seconds on some days but stick to it. If you need to cry, do that and allow yourself to feel that emotion.

Or if you choose, think of a happy place. Maybe the beach makes you happy. Use your senses to paint a picture of the beach in your head.

You can also think of the color black. It sounds silly but on some days it is what works best for me. Close your eyes and see the color black. What things are black? See different shades of black.

Keep in mind that these meditation sessions can be as long or as short as you need them to be. When you feel that you are done, slowly wake yourself up by wiggling your toes and fingers. Move your hands, arms and legs. Start rolling your neck and sit up slowly.

After just two meditation sessions, the weird bumps on my tongue have now disappeared. My eye only twitches maybe once or twice a day compared to ten times a day and I haven’t had to use a melatonin gummy to fall asleep in a solid three nights.

Have anything else that adds to your meditation practice? Comment below!

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