WHY USE RELAXATION TECHNIQUES?
When we are tense we tend to be impulsive, but when we are relaxed we have better judgment. If we are anxious, angry, or stressed, our breathing changes. When we focus on breathing it becomes difficult to be worrying at the same time.
Find a place where you can sit quietly and undisturbed for a few moments. To begin, you might want to set a timer for about 10 minutes, but after some experience you should not be too concerned about the length of time you spend meditating.
Begin by bringing your attention to the present moment by noticing your breathing. Pay attention to your breath as it enters and then leaves your body. Before long, your mind will begin to wander, pulling you out of the present moment. That’s ok. Notice your thoughts and feelings as if you are an outside observer watching what’s happening in your brain. Take note, and allow yourself to return to your breathing.
Sometimes you might feel frustrated or bored. That’s fine—these are just a few more feelings to notice. Your mind might start to plan an upcoming weekend, or worry about a responsibility. Notice where your thoughts are going, and accept what’s happening.
Whenever you are able to, return your concentration to your breathing. Continue this process until your timer rings, or until you are ready to be done.
During the body scan exercise you will pay close attention to physical sensations throughout your body. The goal isn’t to change or relax your body, but instead to notice and become more aware of it. Don’t worry too much about how long you practice, but do move slowly.
Begin by paying attention to the sensations in your feet. Notice any sensations such as warmth, coolness, pressure, pain, or a breeze moving over your skin. Slowly move up your body—to your calves, thighs, pelvis, stomach, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, neck, and finally your head. Spend some time on each of these body parts, just noticing the sensations.
After you travel up your body, begin to move back down, through each body part, until you reach your feet again. Remember: move slowly, and just pay attention.
Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses.
Written by: Gabriela Fiszbein, LMSW
Contrary to popular belief, meditation isn’t something that you do. It’s a state of consciousness. It’s being present and aware of what goes on. The aim of meditation is not to suppress any thoughts. It‘s to be able to let go of our worries, plans and wishes. A space where we just watch our thoughts come and go.
Meditation is becoming aware of your thoughts and focusing on your breath. You pay attention to your breath and when you get lost in thought, you bring your attention back to your breath. Sounds easy right? It’s so easy, but then again it’s so NOT easy.
When you begin meditating you will be quickly introduced to your thoughts, one of the main concepts of meditation is learning how to pay attention to your thoughts.
There are many supportive strategies (called “skillful means”) that create a conducive atmosphere for the deepening of presence. The art of practice is employing these strategies with curiosity, kindness and a light touch.
Benefits of Meditation
Benefits for the body
On a physical level, meditation:
Here are seven key steps of a meditation practice to help you get started on your journey towards a higher peace.
Take a deep breath.
Breathing in through the nose,
Breathing out through the mouth.
Breathing in feeling the lungs expanding,
Breathing out feeling a sense of letting go.
Breathing in to feel the body getting fuller,
Breathing out to feel the release of any tension.
Breathing in feeling alive and awake,
Breathing out feeling muscles relaxing.
Breathing in the sense of fullness,
Breathing out the unnecessary tension.
Stress is a natural reaction of the body to any demand (pleasant or unpleasant) placed upon it. Most of us feel that stress is being under pressure; however, it is really about the conflict between what you perceive and how you react.
In some instances, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or to meet a deadline. When stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
When presented with danger, our ancestors, the cavemen, had two options: They could fight off an attack or they could run like crazy.
In today’s world, most of the “triggers” are rarely direct threats to life. Yet our bodies tend to respond to all threats in a physical or emotional way. We allow ourselves to become frightened, frustrated, angry. This is when physical and mental health problems can result.
Some of the physical signs that may indicate that the fight-or-flight response has kicked in include:
So, what can I do?
Here are three keys to Managing Stress and Gaining Control.
Stay tuned for more tips on managing Stress.
See you next week!!!