Meditation: These Simple Techniques Can Help You Unwind
7 min read
Try your hand at some simple meditation techniques to help you relax after a long day on the go. After all, many of us find that the hustle and bustle of day to day life gets on top of us every now and again. Finding an outlet to unwind from it all may be an important ritual in your daily routine.
Traditionally, meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique (like mindfulness) to help achieve a clear, calm and stable state of mind (1).
Practising meditation can help you to cultivate a sense of calm and heightened awareness (2).
This is because when meditating, your mind concentrates on a singular element, such as your breathing, surrounding sounds, body movements and feelings or a chant (known in meditation-terms as a mantra) (3).
These extended periods of deliberate concentration can help your mind to stay focused throughout the day and may help you unwind during periods of stress (3).
Meditation is generally practiced for both health or spiritual reasons, but many also utilise it as a self-help tool to help improve cognitive thought and manage stress (2).
After all, how many times have you been instructed to take three deep breathes in an effort to calm down?
During periods of stress, the idea of cramming yet another task into your growing to-do list may seem daunting. However, in reality, meditation can be done anywhere with little time-spend required.
When you first start incorporating meditation into your schedule, try starting with just 1-2 minutes of practice each day. Over time, you can gradually increase your daily dedicated meditation time.
When learning to meditate, it’s important to remember that patience is key.
If you’ve decided to give meditation a whirl, you might not know where to start. While there are many different forms of meditation to choose from, you might find these three techniques useful as a starting point.
The easiest way to picture this method is to imagine a photocopier slowly scanning your body from head to toe, feeling any physical sensations within your body (3).
Begin with your eyes closed and slowly scan your body from the top of your head down to your toes. As you do this, take note of areas that feel tense and those that feel relaxed. You may also like to note areas that feel particularly light, heavy or uncomfortable.
Repeat this three times, with each time taking roughly 20 seconds.
If you become distracted, return to the last area you had reached and continue on from there.
The body scan method allows you to familiarise yourself with your body, thoughts and feelings as well as centre your attention for a short period of time.
Taking deep breaths is a well-known meditation technique that can help to shift your focus when you’re stressed or overwhelmed.
The 4-7-8 breathing method is a simple but effective method for calming the body.
To practice the 4-7-8 method, simply follow these instructions:
Progressive muscle relaxation is a quick and easy exercise whereby you tense and release all the muscles in your body. This may help you to physically relax from your head to your toes.
Follow these simple instructions to practice progressive muscle relaxation:
So, there you have it, three simple ways to incorporate meditation into your day-to-day life. Meditation can be a simple addition to your day that may allow you to feel more relaxed after a long day.
If you are experiencing frequent stress or have any concerns about your mental health, talk to your health professional.
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