77% of people suffer from the physical symptoms of stress. Of those 77%, 48% say their stress adversely affects their personal and professional life. And of all the leading causes of stress, work is statistically shown to be number one.
In a world that revolves around work and work that almost unanimously involves stress, what hope is there of us ever leading happy, relaxed lives?
Perhaps it's no surprise that 13% of Americans are on stress relief medications. If only they knew about the power of meditation.
Meditation has been proven to be of immunity benefit to both mental and physical health and is proven to be the most effective natural form of stress relief in the world. Best of all, meditation is easy and free.
By practicing the following breath-based meditation, you will empower yourself to let go of stress while greatly boosting your physical and mental health.
What is breath-based meditation?
The most popular form of meditation involves focusing on your breath. This is precisely what it sounds like: you simply focus 100% of your attention on your breath. By doing so, you bring yourself back into the present moment, releasing any thoughts and stresses that you may have.
How to do a breath based meditation
It is easy to begin to use breathing-based meditations. To do so, simply follow these instructions.
1. Find somewhere quiet and relaxing where you can sit for up to twenty minutes without being disturbed.
2. Make yourself comfortable in a sitting position. Although some meditation practices advocate the use of specific seating positions, for our purposes it is enough to be sitting however you feel comfortable, provided you sit in a way that does not lead to fidgeting.
3. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Focus your mind on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving through your nose. At first, you may not notice these sensations very much, but after a few minutes you will become more aware of the feeling of breathing.
4. Continue to focus on your breath. If you find it hard to concentrate, try counting your breaths. To begin, count an investigation as one, then exhalation as two, intervention three and so on.
5. As you continue to focus on your breath you will notice thoughts entering your mind. Some of these thoughts will be good, some bad, some relaxing, some stressful. Regardless of the type of thought, however, do not focus on it. Make sure to keep your attention locked on your breath.
6. As a final note, when meditating it is very common to experience a thought along the lines of “I do not have time for this.” This is a stress thought. If you experience it, briefly remind yourself of why you are meditating and then return your focus to your breath.
7. When you feel ready, open your eyes. Pay attention to the new sense of calm that permeates your body and mind. You will feel differently to before. This is good. It shows the meditation is working. By remembering this feeling of inner calm you will be more likely to experience it more often.
This is one of many types of meditation techniques that you can use quickly and freely to promote inner calm. It will improve both mental and physical health and even make you more effective thanks to improved concentration and clarity of thought. This means that, even though you may have spent twenty minutes meditating, you will more than make up for your time thanks to your improved effectiveness.