Sometimes we get so stressed and overworked, we completely fall apart. I used to be a very calm relaxed person but it seems the older I get the busier I get. So the more work I do the more stress accumulates. It has become so bad as of late that I grind my teeth.
You know what the dentist said?
“You grind your teeth because of your stress. So stop being so stressed and you won’t grind your teeth.” I repressed the first thought that came to my mind. Which you can imagine probably wasn’t very pleasant. I wonder where I get some of my stress, anyway it wasn’t until today that I finally had a bit of an epiphanous moment. I realized the things I am getting all worked about don’t matter and that I am above worrying over such small things.
Well that too is obvious to most anyone, but sometimes it just takes a breaking point to realize it. This knowledge alone wasn’t enough to get me to relax and unwind. I had to do what i have not done in a long time.
Meditate. One of the easiest meditations for anyone to do is called mantra japa meditation. Mantra japa meditation is the repetitious chanting of one word or phrase. The most common is to chant OM or Aum another popular one is Ram.
To do the Mantra Japa meditation all you need do is sit comfortably with your back straight. And begin to slowly chant aum. its more than jsut saying Om om om om om. It starts by opening your mouth and saying aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmm. It is more or less like saying ah-O-mmm but in an extended manner and less om like in home. By chanting this repeatedly and slowly your body enters a rhythmic state and the vibration of the chant relaxes you physically. In a similar manner this is why cats purr the vibration is found to be quite soothing. The beauty to this meditation unlike other meditations is that it more or less does you rather than you doing the meditation. Mantra Japa is incredible when you are part of a group chanting. It is one of the most eerie and beautiful things to be a part of and you easily lose yourself.
Another meditation I am quite fond of that often leads me into a deep trance, originates from hatha yoga. In this meditation you lie down on a bed or other comfortable surface. Then slowly start relaxing your body. Start by relaxing the muscles in your toes, then your feet and from there your legs, torso arms etc. The most difficult part to relax is actually your face. During this muscle relaxation process breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale out your mouth. This meditation is done in between every yoga phase or asana to soothe the muscles before the next stretch. The focus being primarily on the breathe, often times I my body will be so relaxed I just listen and feel my heartbeat. The meditation makes you aware of parts of your being you often forget. This is especially great to do before going to sleep.
These two meditations are very simple and easy to do and will help reduce your stress greatly. I do have one more starting meditation I can recommend.
I typically like to listen to music or soundtracks when I meditate as the brain will associate you being relaxed with the music you here. Sit straight either in a chair with your feet firmly on the ground or use the stereotypical meditation pose.
Breathe in through your nose to a count of four. Hold the breath to a count of six and exhale to a count of six. Hold for a count of four then breathe in again, do this about twenty times and it will become automated. When you first start I would recommend only doing one mediation session a day for 15 minutes.
Some people may also attribute spiritual visions or other incredible phenomena while meditating but whether you believe this or not meditation is proven to reduce stress. While I am not completely de-stressed yet a little bit of meditation has gone a long way for me.