Meditation and relaxation techniques for stress
It is a sad fact that in the 21st Century, despite all the gadgets that we now have to make our lives easier, 59% of British adults say their life is more stressful than it was five years ago. (Source http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk)
Whether it is related to family, work, money, relationships or illness, stress places your body under enormous pressure and creates a cycle of anxiety that is neither helpful nor healthy. Here are a few simple tips to help you to recognise the signs of stress, and to begin to process it in a healthy way.
Recognise the signs
Some of the symptoms induced by stress include anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, fears, depression, mental or nervous exhaustion and irritability. Physical symptoms induced by stress can include tension in the body, blushing, sweating, cramp, neck or backache, tiredness, or IBS. We can often experience the physical effects of anxiety, without fully recognising that they are related to, and created by stress. Once this is understood, stress becomes much more treatable, and far less destructive.
Identify the cause
Many causes of stress are easily noticeable. Moving house, caring for a sick relative, problems at work or separation for example, provide an obvious reason for the symptoms of anxiety. Others are more deep rooted, often stemming from a childhood experience that your unconscious mind can still remember, even if your conscious mind has long forgotten it. Take time to reflect on the cause of stress, and try to deal with any memories from your past that may be influencing your adult behaviour. Let go of any negativity and feel yourself become stronger as you do so.
Back to basics
Sleep, exercise and healthy eating may sound obvious, but burning the midnight oil, avoiding the gym, or filling up on junk food are all ways to exacerbate stress. Make a healthy lifestyle part of your routine and let your mind and body heal in the most natural way possible.
Quieten your mind
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and circular breathing are ideal ways to reduce stress, as the focus required to perform them clears your mind from all unnecessary distractions. Use affirmations regularly to help calm your mind. Try any or all of the following statements, or come up with your own specific set.
I am at peace with myself and the world around me
I feel centred and balanced
My mind is calm and clear
I feel calm and composed under pressure
Just say no
Sometimes we continue to take on more than we can cope with; either to appear polite, show how capable we are, or simply because we feel that we have no choice. It can also be a symptom of stress to accept more responsibilities than ever, as a way of trying to gain control. Distinguish between the tasks that you must complete, those that you should complete, and those that can wait.
Unlock your creative mind
The creative side of your mind is far more likely to find solutions to stressful situations than you realise. It’s all too easy to allow your analytical side to take over. I recommend trying this powerful visualisation technique to enable the right side of your brain to help you cope with stress.
1. Write down anything that is currently causing you to feel stressed or anxious.
2. Clear your mind for a few moments, and then look at the issues again.
3. Write down three ways in which there could be a positive outcome to each problem. Don’t be afraid to write down solutions that seem unlikely, and try not to think about how other people may respond. At this stage, the important thing is to train your mind to work out solutions on an independent level, without any pressure from outside forces.
Stress is something that is prevalent when we close down and stop seeing the joy and abundance in life. So, get into the habit of getting rid of the things that cause you to feel fear and anxiety and then fill your life with positive things instead.
This is not a quick fix, but a first step on a journey to help you process stress in a healthy way. If you want to learn more about using meditation to deal with stress, the techniques found in my hypnosis recordings can help you to regain control, and to focus on specific stress points in your life. Complete Relaxation and Creating Inner Peace & Calm have just been remixed and re-mastered: