meditation is one of the techniques often used for stress management. and who isn't dealing with some level of stress these days. a person who is riddled with problems often finds it hard to focus, which often leads to more problems. meditation techniques help a person achieve a calm state of mind and inner peace without having to resort to drugs. each step to meditation is done in the mind.
remember that meditation is not a one-shot deal. it's hard to attain a calm state of mind in just a matter of minutes, especially if it’s your first time. it is essential that you keep on practicing. you should set a timer to begin, even for just 5 minutes, then gradually increase your time for meditation until you have conditioned your mind. here are some steps for a beginner to start with meditation as their stress management strategy.
- find a quiet corner to start your meditation. distraction is a hindrance to those who are still starting out with meditation. when you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good, so almost any noise in your surroundings will make it hard for you to concentrate. for beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. close your windows, lock your door. if possible, try to set a time of day when others are asleep or out of the house. as much as you love them, kids can and will totally crash your meditation party.
- ready your position. it's advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. the aim here is not to sleep, and it is likely that you will fall asleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state. to stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position, or you can find a chair you can sit on. make sure that your back is straight, and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap.
- begin your meditation with proper breathing. a good way to start meditation is to do a proper breathing exercise. you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. this way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on. also, the amount of oxygen in your body will help to keep you relaxed. keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.
- focus on your mind. while you are concentrating on your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. these are mostly random events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears and so on. it will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. the gist here is to acknowledge these thoughts when they enter your mind and then release them. this might sound hard but here is a simple example to understand the concept. you know that you have furniture at home you can see it clearly with your eyes, but you are not really concentrating on it. focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. you need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state, seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on it. there will come a time that these random thoughts will stop, and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. this is the state you want to achieve during meditation. this is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on it till you can find a solution for it. with this, you have successfully mastered the basics of meditation for your stress management program.
if i'm being honest, when I first started meditating years ago, I felt kind of silly. I couldn't get my mind to stop wandering, and I kept opening my eyes thinking "please don't let anyone come in and see me" lol. over time it started to click and it's a daily habit now that I can't go without. when we meditate, we inject massive benefits into our lives through stress reduction and a calm, focused mind. bonus - you don't need expensive gear or memberships either, you can do right where you are.