Taking a quiet walk, a cool swim, or a quick nap is often enough to help people relax. However, if you find that your mind is still whirring away during these activities, thinking about all your upcoming tasks and responsibilities, you're not getting the full benefit of a relaxation activity. It is necessary to quiet these whirling thoughts by learning how to relax the mind as well as the body.
Mini meditations are a great way to relax mentally as well as physically. Here are the steps to follow for a mini meditation.
Stop. The mini meditation takes no more than a minute, so you don't need to set aside a huge amount of time in your day. But when you do decide to begin the meditation, make sure you can stop everything you are doing and fully commit to the meditation session. If possible, choose a quiet time during the day when you are not likely to be disturbed.
Shut your eyes. As you let your eyes close, mentally put aside everything you are working on at the moment. You can even visualize putting all these concerns and ideas in a mental lock box and setting a timer on it for one minute, so that they cannot disturb you during the meditation.
Breathe. Begin to be aware of your breathing. Breathe normally, and focus on the feeling of the air entering and leaving your body. Begin to slow your breaths so you are taking nice, slow, deep, even breaths.
Count. Clear your mind of everything except the breath going in and out. Count each inhale and exhale as a unit. Depending on how long of a pause you can take in your day, county three to ten inhale and exhale units. You should feel yourself becoming calm and refreshed as you do this.
Resume. Slowly open your eyes and get back to the tasks at hand.
If you enjoy this mini meditation session, consider making it a habit. Set aside a time each day to meditate, if you can. Otherwise, you can simply promise yourself at least one session per day, whenever you can fit it in.
You might also like to try deeper meditation sessions. For centuries, meditation has been relied upon as a means of quieting the mind and body so that individuals could gain a deeper understanding of the divine. The process results in a peaceful, relaxed body and a deep tranquility of mind. Even if you are not religious, you can benefit from meditation for these reasons. With the tranquility gained through meditation, you can gain perspective on stressful situations, increase self-awareness, and see through and eliminate negative emotions.
If you find yourself unable to clear your mind for a traditional meditation session, you might consider a guided imagery session instead. In this therapy, you will be guided to imagine a particular relaxing scenario. In the process, you will gain all the physical benefits you would have experienced if you'd actually performed the activity rather than just imagined it.
Jill Magso is a member of the Silva Team and contributes to spreading enlightened ideas and sharing teachings about meditation practices. The Silva Method encompasses a variety of powerful exercises that take you deep into Alpha and Theta levels of the mind so that you can work within your subconscious as well as your conscious mind.