Easy Meditation for Relieving Stress
Stress is a part of life. What used to be lions, tigers, and bears have now become credit scores, job applications, and car maintenance. So while the type of stressors we have to deal with has changed, chronic stress is nothing new.
Some of it is normal and part of survival – like knowing to run from a said lion. While you may not be able to avoid every stressor out there, you can help manage your response to them and how you manage stress. A great way to do that is through meditation.
The Importance of Stress Relief
It doesn’t feel good to be stressed out, especially if it’s a constant thing in your life. But stress reduction isn’t just about not blowing up at your coworkers or significant other, it’s also vital for maintaining your health and well-being.
Stress is one of the biggest triggers when it comes to autoimmune issues, mental health disorders, and many other health problems. As we said, some stress is a normal part of being alive. The problem is when stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline build up in your body over time, with nowhere to go. When these hormones build up in your body they can affect every function in your body.
How does stress affect the body?
Take the immune system, long-term exposure to stress can weaken the immune system and its ability to respond to harmful foreign pathogens like viruses and bacteria in daily life.
Digestion is another thing that is greatly impacted by stress. Think of how your body feels when you’re in a stressful situation. Your heart rate increases, you might start breathing rapidly, you will have high blood pressure and your stomach might start to feel upset. If you feel like this all the time or often, you might experience digestive problems like diarrhea, and constipation, as well as an increased risk of developing ulcers and type 2 diabetes.
Your cardiovascular health is also greatly impacted by stress. Stress can affect your breathing, raise your blood pressure, and increase your risk of having a heart attack and other cardiovascular issues. Reducing stress through meditation sessions and mindfulness based therapy may save your life.
Mental Health and Inner peace
Stress can even take a toll on your reproductive health and fertility. This can make it harder to conceive. This of course is a catch-22, as fertility issues can be incredibly stressful.
Stress and Meditation Session
As the wellness industry grows, more and more people are trying out meditation as a way of helping to manage stress levels and feel better overall. Meditation can help decrease stress levels by increasing your self-awareness, helping you to develop more presence, increasing patience, and reducing negative emotions. It can even make your sex life better!
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. Thirty seconds to a few minutes a day can be enough to make a huge difference. If the thought of sitting and stilling your mind feels overwhelming, don’t worry – there are so many different ways to meditate.
Here are a few meditations to try out for stress management and relief:
Body Check-In Meditation
If you tend to feel overwhelmed and out of your body because of stress, this is a great one to use to help you feel more grounded and get back in your body.
- Find a comfortable seat or lie down, get as comfortable as you can where you are. Don’t be afraid to use blankets and pillows!
- Start by feeling where your body meets the ground or whatever you’re sitting/laying on. Feel where your seat, feet, head, and whatever else is touching another surface, meets that surface.
- Take a few deep breaths then start with your head, move from one area of your body to the next, checking in to see how it feels.
- You can ask “How does my head (or whatever body part) feel?” or just focus on each area of your body.
- Take your time and keep doing this over your chest, arms, stomach, etc, until you get to your toes.
- See what messages come up and feel free to journal about your experience after.
This is a great one for people who might not necessarily want to sit still and meditate.
- The first step is to put on some comfortable shoes and walk out your door (it’s ok to walk around your house if you can’t get outside).
- Instead of reaching for your phone and listening to music or a podcast, your goal is to be totally present during your walk. Or as a present, as you can be.
- Take some deep breaths, letting your lungs fill with fresh oxygen.
- Pay attention to where your feet meet the ground with each step and how the sun or breeze or other elements feel on your skin.
- Engage your visual sense by taking in your surroundings. Notice things you might normally walk right past like certain flowers and plants, art around your neighborhood, and animals that cross your path.
We understand that many stressful situations are unavoidable and can’t be fixed through meditation alone. We encourage you to seek outside support when necessary through a mental health professional. In the meantime, hopefully, these meditations gave you another tool to be able to better manage your stress levels, and make life that much more enjoyable.
Natasha (she/her) is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, health, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more education and empowerment. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.