Let Go Of The Stress & Relax
There comes a time in everyone’s life when the stresses of work, finances, relationships or family become overwhelming. When this occurs even the little things can seem like one more boulder on your shoulders and you simply can’t take anymore. And it always seems to happen at the worst time of the day too.
In today’s world meditation is viewed from two perspectives, from the spiritual form of enlightenment and becoming one with spirit. If this type of meditation interests you, you may want to read The 5 Minute Alignment Meditation.
The other is through the eyes of mainstream medicine as a non-denominational practice that can relieve stress, improve blood flow, stimulate the immune system and create or enhance productivity.
Meditation from a non-spiritual sense has also been shown beneficial for relieving stress, improving health and increasing productivity. Over 300 hundred clinical studies here in the U.S., and thousands upon thousands of stress reduction programs throughout the world, attest to the usefulness of meditation for corporate professionals, blue collar workers, or for anyone who has stress in their life.
In 2008, a new study by Emory University researchers showed that those who practiced any form of Meditation had physiological changes that indicated lower stress levels. When presented with a stressful task, study subjects who practiced Meditation had lower levels of a stress hormone called cortisol compared to those who weren’t taught meditation methods. Lower stress levels have been linked to better immune function and lower rates of a variety of diseases, including depression and even cancer. Read more about Meditation As A Stress Reliever.
The 5 Minute Meditation:
The following is a quick process for a 5 Minute Meditation. If you’re at work, you can do this at your desk, schedule a conference room where you can be alone or share the time with a few co-workers. You can even take a break and go to your car or a local park, sit under a tree on the far side of the parking lot or simply hide in the store-room for a few minutes.
If you’re at home, sit on the edge of the couch, or in a warm bath to find a moment of relaxation. Any place in or around your home that gives you a few moments of solitude will do. You can take 5 minutes in the morning before you get out of bed, or 5 minutes before you lay down and go to sleep at night. Extend your morning shower and incorporate the flowing water into your visualization to wash out the stress. What works for someone else may not work for you. So try different methods, or different situations to take your 5 minutes of relaxation each day.
- Begin by sitting comfortably in an upright position. Rest your hands and arms in your lap. Palms up.
- Close your eyes and take in 3 deep breaths through your nose, but exhale through your mouth.
- The key here is to fill your lungs to their fullest capacity. And then to exhale to your fullest ability as well.
- If you want to add a simple visualization,
- Imagine the White light of pure positive energy entering your body as you breath in through your nose. Imagine this energy pushing the negative stress out of your body. You can think of it as a bulldozer, a force field or tractor beam put in reverse. Whatever helps you to see the stress being pushed OUT of your physical body will work well.
- As you exhale, imagine that stress, anxiety and negative energy leaving your body like a gray smoke through your mouth. You can visualize the white light filling your physical body, pushing the dark gray stressful energy out of your physical being. See this smoke rising out into space where it will dissipate and no longer cause harm to anyone.
- Return to normal breathing and focus on the muscles of your neck and shoulders. With each breath you take, feel the muscles relax and let go of their stress. Do this for about 5 breaths.
- Move your attention down to your arms and the middle of your body, front and back. Feel your physical body relax as if your arms are letting go and dropping to the floor. Again do this for about 5 breaths.
- Now move your attention down to your lower back and abdominal area. Feel the tension ease and the muscles relax. You can even slouch a little in your chair if needs be for 5 more regular breaths.
- Take your attention down to your legs and feet. Like your arms, let the muscles relax and feel heavy. With each breath focus on the thighs, your knees, calves, ankles and then your feet.
- Turn your attention to the head. Focus on the physical first. Unclench your jaw. Let your lower jaw drop a little allowing your teeth to separate. Unfurl your brow and change the expression of anger or concentration to contentment. Focus on breathing through your nose, expanding your sinuses and filling your lungs.
- Lastly give yourself permission to relax and be at ease. Here a quick visualization is the best way to help you relax and let it go.
- Imagine a warm sunny empty beach and watching the waves of the ocean gently splash on the sand and wash away all your cares. With each breath you take in, a wave comes in and gently smooths the sand before you. It washes over your feet with warmth and gentle ease.
- With each exhale the tide takes away the physical and mental strain washing it out to sea where it will dissolve and fade away. Hold this visualization for at least 10 breaths. But if you have time or even a desire for more, give it a go.
- When you’re ready, take in one deep cleansing breath and open your eyes on the exhale.
If the things that are causing you stress pop into your mind while you’re conducting this meditation, simply wash them away with a wave. Put aside the lists, or reminders of what you may need to do after your meditation. Put aside any guilt about taking a few moments for yourself, and the worry that someone else is going to be upset with your 5 minutes of down time. Let someone around you know what you’re going to do if you need to. Or post a note on the door or on your cubical. Don’t be embarrassed about taking a few minutes to clear your head so that you can be more productive. Those around you will understand and maybe even ask you to share this process with them.
This is just one method of meditation. Use it verbatim or change it up to fit your own personal interests and perspectives. If it inspires you to create your own 5 minute meditation process that’s great! Some people like to add music, others light incense or a candle (just make sure you’re allowed to do that if you’re at work). This is your 5 minutes, so put the process to work for YOU.
Good luck and I hope this short meditation can help those that need it the most!
© 2012 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.