Have you ever struggled with how to relax? Have you dealth with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue. Meditation has been used for centuries helping people promote relaxtion and reduce anxieties.
It is estimated that between 200-500 million people participate in meditation worldwide.
In this post I will review how I choose to relax using the power of meditation.
Let’s take a look…
Learning How To Relax
If you’re anything like me, relaxation is not a skill I would put on my resume. I’ve engrained in myself the need to “always be on”; from my background in sports to my profession as a physical therapist. Finding 5-10 minutes each day is so important to regulating stress levels and more importanly, making time for YOU! Here are some mind blowing stats that back this claim:
- According to The Good Body, research has shown meditation can reduce depression relapses in 12% of its users.
- Meditation improves anxiety levels 60% of the time.
- Meditation can improve employees productivity by 120%!
- School suspensions were reduced by 45% thanks to meditation.
An important part of meditation is finding a breathing technique which works for you. Which leads us to…
Power Of Breathing
According to the American Institute of Stress, breathing exercises have shown to:
- slow your metabolism
- heart rate decreases
- blood pressure decreases
For breathing techniques, I suggest strong inhales through the nose followed by a longer exhale throught the mouth. This technique is often referred to as Lengthening Your Exhale, and it is a commonly used breathing practice. Other types of breathing techniques commonly used are diaphragmatic breathing, belly breathing, and breath focus. For a more extensive list, please check out Healthline’s article here. Make sure during your breathing exercise to find a comfortable position to either sit or lie, and doing so in a dimly lit room only adds to the relaxation in my opinion.
Making Time For Yourself
Balancing a hectic work schedule, raising kids, planning social events can make it easy to forget about making time for yourself. I often find myself sitting on my couch, Netflix and chillin’ late in the evening, and realize, “Hey! I forgot to meditate”. That’s why I suggest setting a consistent schedule and using phone reminder’s to improve your compliance. For me, I’ve found that adding a 5-10 min meditation session in after my workout works best for me. Not only does it act as a nice cool down after a hard work out, but also some nice stretching!
Whether you are new to meditation or a seasoned vet, there are plenty of options to choose from when beginning your meditation practice. Some of my go-to options include: Yoga With Adriene, Ten Percent Happier, and Peloton. I hope with this post you’ve learned how powerful a meditation can be and I wish you happiness in your future practice.