Zia Soleil/Stone/Getty Images Meditation is a powerful stress reliever. Here is a simple and effective form of meditation that can be useful
Meditation is a powerful stress reliever. Here is a simple and effective form of meditation that can be useful for beginners, and can be learned easily learned. Whether you use it to prepare for physical battle or just a taxing day at the office, this quick exercise is a proven tool to help you feel relaxed, alert, and more ready for anything.
- Sit in a comfortable position. While most martial artists use the ‘seiza’ (“say zah”) position, with legs beneath the buttocks with knees directly in front, many people find this position to be uncomfortable. If this is the case, you may also sit cross-legged ('anza') or in another position that’s more comfortable for you.
- Close your eyes, but keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, head up, your eyes (behind your lids) focused ahead.
- Take a deep, cleansing breath, expanding your belly and keeping your shoulders relaxed, and hold it in for the count of six. Exhale, and repeat twice more. Then breathe normally, and focus your attention on your breathing. As you breathe, inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, still expanding your belly rather than moving your shoulders up and down.
- If your thoughts drift toward the stresses of the day ahead or of the day behind you, gently refocus on your breathing and remain in the present moment. Feel the air move in, and feel the air move out. That’s it.
- Continue this for as little or as long as you like, and you should notice that your body is more relaxed and your mind is more centered. Enjoy the rest of your day!
- As you breathe, let your abdomen expand and contract, rather than moving your shoulders up and down. This deeper breathing is more natural and similar to how babies breathe. It gives you increased lung capacity, whereas the ‘shallow breathing’ adults usually utilize doesn’t allow as much oxygenation of the blood.
- Don't breathe too quickly or too slowly; just breathe at a natural rate, but more deeply.
- If you find your thoughts drifting a lot at first, don't worry that you're doing it 'wrong'. Noticing that you've drifted and refocusing to your breathing is part of the practice and something you're doing 'right'!
- Try another meditation technique and find more resources for stress management and learn to better manage stress in your daily life.