We experience so much stress in this day and age. It can feel never ending and very overwhelming. What can you do when you are feeling this way? Instead of turning to food or substances, practice meditation to improve your mood.
What is mindfulness? It is the practice of actively focusing your attention on the present moment, and removing all judgement from the moment. It can help reduce stress and improve relaxation. It can be practiced in multiple different ways. Meditation can be used for disorders such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorders. It also has physical benefits such as reducing blood pressure, improve the ability to sleep, and help with chronic pain.
Progressive muscle relaxation
Your therapist can read a script to you in which you follow along and squeeze and relax all of your muscles, one at a time. This helps you to flex and relax the muscles while releasing tension and stress in your body. This form of meditation can be so relaxing that it can put you to sleep at night. You can also practice this on your own by listening to podcasts or videos on Youtube.
Visualizing a safe space
In this exercise, you visual your happy, safe place. You will think about all aspects of the place, such as what you can hear, see, smell, taste, and feel. As an example, picture a beach. Imagine feeling the warm sun on your skin, the sand under your feet, and the cool water from the ocean. You may hear sounds such as seagulls, splashing of the waves, or children playing. You can smell the salt water and taste it as well. This is an exercise you can do during a difficult time at work or anywhere that you need to relax.
Another way to calm yourself down is by focusing on your breathing and practicing taking deep, calming breaths. So often we do not focus on our breathing and we end up taking shallow, quick breaths. By breathing in deeply from our noses, allowing the air to fill in our lungs, and then breathing out slowly, we are letting ourselves become more relaxed and reduce stress. Deep breathing helps us to calm down by giving our brains a chance to recharge while we focus on a simple biological process in our bodies: breathing in and out.
Want more ways to relax? Contact Baummier Health at 561-404-0082 ex 2 to schedule your appointment with our therapist. You will learn valuable relaxation techniques while reducing the stress in your life through the use of therapy.