Meditation: These Simple Techniques Can Help You Unwind
7 min read
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Many of us may find the hustle and bustle of day to day life gets on top of us every now and again, and sometimes finding an outlet to unwind from it all may be a handy addition to your day. Why not try your hand at some simple meditation techniques to help you relax after a long day on the go?
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).
Practicing meditation can help in producing a clearing of the mind to help cultivate a sense of calm and heightened awareness in the individual (2).
When you’re meditating, your mind is concentrating on one particular element, such as your breathing, surrounding sounds, body movements and feelings or a chant (known in meditation-terms as a mantra) (3).
Extended periods of deliberate concentration, can help your mind to stay focussed throughout the day and may help 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 being incorporating meditation into your schedule, try starting with just 1-2 minutes of practice each day. Overtime, you may find it easier to 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 are doing this, take note of areas that feel tense and those which feel relaxed. You may also like to note areas that feel light or 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 element of meditation that may help to shift your focus when you are feeling particularly stressed or overwhelmed.
As a beginner to meditation, it’s worth trying the 4-7-8 breathing method as it can act as a calming action for your body.
To practice the 4-7-8 method, simply follow along with these instructions:
When finished on cycle, repeat four more times or until you feel yourself begin to relax
Progressive muscle relaxation is a simple 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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