Stressed and overwhelmed? Here are the best meditations for stress – to instantly calm your mind and help you feel relaxed, focused, balanced.
A therapist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience.
As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired:
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
“The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. However if it’s for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. Plus if it’s for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
“The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Want to lower your stress?
Remember to lower that glass!
So…how to lower it?
I consider meditation to be a legal, mind-altering, non-addictive brain enhancer.
Meditation helps you to see clearer, further, wider. I even wrote a book, Instant Calm, which shares simple and powerful meditation tools.
After all, there are as many different ways to meditate as there are cool looking yoga pants!
(Well, almost as many!)
So if you’re not good at a particular kind of meditation, you can always explore what I consider to be the best meditations for stress.
If you follow my work, then you know I studied to be a meditation (and yoga) teacher at Ishta Yoga in Manhattan – and wrote a book on meditation which has been praised by some of the world’s top meditation teachers. Throughout the years I’ve learned pretty much every kind of meditation there is to do. I wound up loving sensory meditations the most – because they’re so simple, fun and easy to do in a busy schedule.
Sensory meditations are based on using your 5 senses as a one-pointed grounding tool.
Many studies, including one study by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, report that the smell of vanilla can boost happiness and decrease stress.
The center actually tested the effects of five different fragrances on eighty-five patients undergoing an MRI scan. Of the five scents tested, vanilla was rated the number one most relaxing.
In fact, patients exposed to the vanilla smell reported 63 percent less anxiety and claustrophobia than those not exposed.
Sloan Kettering was so impressed by vanilla’s relaxing benefits that they now include the smell of vanilla as a standard part of their MRI scans!
Get a bottle of vanilla essential oil. Hold it beneath your nose. Inhale and exhale for two minutes. Repeat the following (silently to yourself) on each inhale and exhale:
I offer many more sensory meditations for stress – inside of Instant Calm. Each of them are based on creating a “one-pointed focus” on one of your 5 different senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.
I even have a simple Chocolate Meditation – which is not only fun (duh!) it’s actually good for your health to do!