Meditations For Stress – Establishing Somatic Connections
Meditation is a wonderful way to cultivate a richer relationship with the many parts of the mind and body. However, some types of meditation are more effective in specific situations than others. Additionally, avoiding extremely sensitive subjects during meditation can reduce retraumatization risks.
In fact, meditation can cause anxiety in certain circumstances. As you develop a greater understanding of what takes place in your mindful moments, you’ll establish a diverse toolkit. That’s one of the reasons we want to talk about meditations for stress today.
How Modern Meditation Is Different
Historically, meditation served as a part of a spiritual practice where the goal was to alter the mind’s relationship with the body in order to achieve states of bliss. These blissful states range from full trances to enlightenment. In these forms, meditation is work. It is not for relaxation.
Our modern, western concept of meditation is mostly secular and used to help us gain a deeper connection with ourselves or relax. This is a very different application. Understanding the historical purpose of meditation helps us understand how our application of this powerful tool can be both beneficial or problematic depending on our approach.
What’s Stressing You Out?
Sometimes, you’ll discover your stressors during meditation. Other times you’re hyper-aware of the problem before you engage in your mindful meditation. In either situation, its important to remain flexible and listen to the signals your system is sending you.
If you experience persistent stress from past trauma, for instance, you must take care when working with the core issues. We recommend guidance from a professional in these instances. That outside, expert opinion can save you a lot of strife.
Similarly, some people find it soothing to explore and unpack acute stress points during meditation. For others, this is triggering.
For these reasons and more, it’s wise to modify your techniques depending on the source of your stress.
Meditations For Stress – Pivoting Techniques
For most causal practitioners, the goal of meditation is to relax. This often means releasing your focus and redirecting it to something new. Anytime you find that your approach isn’t working, we suggest pivoting.
Guided Meditations For Stress Relief
For instance, if you can’t keep your mind from wandering to topics that are causing you stress, try a guided meditation. Guided meditations put someone else in the drivers’ seat while you listen along and follow their direction. Sometimes guided meditations ask you to see a calming place and experience the positive emotions you associate with that place.
Through this exercise, you can stimulate calm, joyful, and even hopeful feelings. These sensations can persist long after the meditation is over.
Meditations For Stress Relief That Focus On The Body
Somatic meditations are also helpful. This type of work moves your focal point from your thoughts to your body. You might focus on how it feels to take deep, steady breaths, picturing the air filling your lungs, nourishing your body, and then leaving when you exhale.
Alternately, you might focus on how your body feels against the chair or floor beneath you. Take your shoes off and stand on the bare ground outside to feel these sensations and experience something that links you to your ancestors going back to the earliest days of humanity. These are powerful connections that can provide relief from a racing mind.
This technique is especially helpful for people who feel a little ‘out of body’ or dissociated when they’re anxious. This is a normal anxiety symptom, but it can cause additional feelings of unease. Re-establishing the mind and body connection will ground you.
Listen To A Mantra – Sensory Meditations For Stress Relief
We’ve discussed mantras before, often in the context of affirmations. However, mantras are ancient mindfulness tools that long predate our modern concept of the power of positive thinking. Take care choosing a mantra for relaxation, as some of the popular mantras can be very stimulating.
The Ohm mantra is a good one to start with, as it connects you to the ancient understanding that this is the sound the universe makes; the murmur of creation. It also stimulates an opening of the heart as an energy center. You don’t have to believe that to gain some sense of peace and tranquility from repeating Ohm during meditation, however.
Other Sound Meditations For Sensation Based Meditation
Although a controversial figure, Osho is linked to a series of recordings purporting to clean or balance the chakras. It’s important that you never do something during meditation that feels dangerous or uncomfortable to you, however many people find these chakra tones to be powerful meditation aids.
They are merely an example of chants, crystal singing bowl recordings, sounds, solfeggio frequencies, binaural beats, and other meditative tools. Any or all of these sounds can create a relaxing meditative space. As your mind focuses on the sounds, you can relax your body. This creates a break from your thoughts.
Nature recordings like crashing waves and gentle rainfall can have similar benefits. In fact, even popping on some experimental ‘free jazz’ music can be surprisingly claiming. As your mind follows the unusual and unpredictable sounds, it isn’t thinking, which is the point of a lot of relaxation meditation.
Reducing Stress With Meditation
Stress relief meditation is really about creating a vacation inside your self. Therefore, seek techniques that help you unwind. Not every meditation technique carries this goal, and we hope this post helps you understand that.