People from all walks of life can practice meditation for stress relief. Meditation is as old as the hills and can take many forms which might or might not have spiritual connections but can be helpful in more ways than one if one knows how to practice it, explains Brian C Jensen.  You can meditate when your emotional stress brings you down on your knees. Practicing meditation as part of your daily routine can help deal with stress better by building resilience. Meditation can be an instant stress reliever by helping you reverse the body’s response to stress that allows you to relax physically.

How to practice meditation – Brian C Jensen shows the way

To meditate, find a quiet place at home where you can sit erect with your legs folded and look in front of you in a relaxed manner while focusing on one thought by setting aside all others to be sure about where you want to place your mind. Then, you can focus your attention on the candle flame in the room at some distance. Chant a mantra, focus on your breathing, or sit with an empty mind, not focusing on anything at all.  All meditation techniques have one thing in common – the mind stops accepting new thoughts that keep knocking at its door.

The duration of meditation can be from 5 minutes to 20 minutes on average. It can be of any other chosen period provided you ensure that your mind is entirely free from distraction during this time. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the time as longer sessions are more beneficial. Do not try too hard to pace through the sessions but take a steady approach to build up the tempo over time so that the body tunes perfectly with the mind.

Meditation and stress

Meditation and stress are at the opposite ends of the spectrum of stress control. Stress is a normal response of our body when we experience any difficult situation that causes tension, and it prepares us to fight or run.  The physical response is helpful in some cases of extreme danger. On the other hand, stress agitates the body and can damage many of our body parts if allowed to persist for long. 

Meditation acts on the body precisely the opposite way that stress does, as it triggers the relaxation response instead of the tension. As a result, it allows the body to regain its composure and attain a calm state, during which time the body can heal itself and prevent any further damage from the effects of stressful events. In addition, quieting the thoughts induced by stress can calm your mind and body.

It’s all about relaxation

Meditation not only relaxes the mind, but the sitting posture is relaxing too, and the double dose of mental and physical relaxation is the unique feature of meditation and the secret of its success in harnessing your thoughts and relaxing your body.

Besides relieving stress, meditation helps build resilience in the long run so that the body can better endure stress which automatically remains under control.