Welcome to 2019, an era in which a myriad of advancements are focused on making lives easier and more comfortable. However, the excessive competition of this mechanical era has had various side effects as well, the gravity of which is usually lost on a lot of us. Stress is now a phenomenon that is known to almost all of us. Experiencing stress on a fairly consistent basis is no longer taken as a serious medical condition but rather an everyday occurrence for the majority of us causing an ever-increasing prevalence of anxiety. While it all sounds extremely grim, the good news is that there is something that you can do about it from the very comfort of your homes.
This is not going to be one of those stereotypical articles which highlight the factors of your everyday life that you should avoid in an attempt to prevent stress, rather, we are going to take a more practical approach, acknowledging the inevitability of stress and anxiety in the present times, and then enlightening you with a strategies and tactics for effectively coping with it.
What if we told you that something as simple as mindful exercises or consistent meditation is all that you need to address this apparently gigantic challenge of anxiety? It is understandable for a layman that relaxation is of paramount importance when it comes to coping with stress and anxiety. But what most of us fail to realize is that lying on your couch after a busy, hectic day with your favorite show running on the TV in the background is not registered as relaxation by your body. It is the natural relaxation response that ought to be activated if you want to reap the true benefits and cope with anxiety. And this is where the mindful exercises and meditation step in.
Let us walk you through a list of everyday practices for home meditation that you can use to effectively protect yourself against the harms of consistent stress and anxiety.
Deep Breathing – Traditional Yet Effective
It is beyond comprehension why a lot of people fail to take this technique seriously. Deep breathing is the very core of meditation that can be combined with various other meditation practices such as muscle relaxation or mindfulness exercises, its known effects on reducing stress and anxiety are unquestionable, it can be easily practiced at home, in your office, or literally anywhere and doesn’t take more than a few minutes of your precious time.
- Sit in a comfortable position and keep your back straight. Place one of your hands on your stomach while the other one rests on your chest.
- Take a deep, slow breath through your nose. With the rise of your hand on the belly, feel the air filling in your body. The other hand resting on your chest should witness minimal movement.
- After keeping the air in for a couple of seconds, start to slowly exhale it out through your mouth. Use your hand that is on your tummy to feel the contraction of the abdomen and consequently the air rushing out of your body. Again, the other hand should move minimally.
- Continue to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Take deep breaths and exhale slowly. Continue to feel the movement of your lower abdomen.
Remember that the entire purpose of the breathing exercise to take deep, slow breaths using your lower abdomen instead of your upper chest. You need to ensure the entry of as much fresh air into your lungs as you possibly can. With an increased supply of oxygen due to deep breathing, the levels of anxiety will slowly start to fall.
Body Scan – Getting To Know Your Body
Body Scan is a simple meditation technique that calls for focusing on different body parts. As the name suggests, this technique involves isolating each of your body parts, starting at your feet and going all the way to the face, and individually focusing on each of the body parts in order to get a sense of them. The goal here is to know what the body part feels like. There is no movement involved, neither are you supposed to label the part or the feeling as good or bad.
- Lie down on the floor in a comfortable position. Keep your legs crossed and relax your arms on the side. Being with slow, deep breathing to promote relaxation. It is entirely up to you whether you want to keep your eyes closed or open.
- Now start to shift your focus to the toes of one of your feet. With continuous deep breathing, try to feel the sensation in your toes. With each inhalation, try to imagine the air going all the way down to your toes. Focus on the toes for a couple of minutes.
- Once done, you can move on to a different part of the foot, for instance, the sole and repeat the same procedure. Continue moving on to the different parts and follow the same procedure until all parts of the body have been covered.
- Once all parts of the body have been scanned, stay still and quiet and get a feel of your body as a whole. Now open your eyes very slowly if you had closed them in the beginning.
Progressive Relaxation Of The Muscles – A Perfect Combo For Deep Breathing
The next in our list of following a home meditation regime to cope with stress and anxiety is the progressive muscle relaxation. It is a home meditation technique that spans over a continuous loop of contraction and relaxation of a muscle group of your choice.