* Meditation can help you unwind and relieve stress
* Not all of us are great at getting out of that restless mindset though
* These tips and tech will help you find control of your thoughts
Finding your calmness and easing your mind is sometimes the toughest thing to do. After stressful day of work or battling with relationship issues your mind just won’t settle down. It is not healthy to have your mind running a mile a minute, which is why it is so important to establish control of your brain activity.
Soothing yourself out of these stressful and weighted thoughts through meditation can be more revitalizing then a massage, a day at the spa and most other stress-relieving methods. If you’re someone who doesn’t take time for yourself and is feeling depressed or unhealthy due to the amount of stress you endure daily, then now is the time to take control of your sanity.
Jumping into meditation with no experience is a tricky thing. You can’t start getting better at it until you start attempting to find that sweet spot of relaxation. So do I just sit in a room silent with my eyes closed until I feel better? It might seem primitive, but sure. Learning how to meditate is going to be your own personal journey, so whatever works best for you is what you get to call “meditating.” But to boost your confidence in taking this plunge, here are some easy ways to start this journey toward stress relief and mindfulness.
1. Breathe and Relax Your Body
Find a comfortable and quiet space to seclude yourself in for a couple minutes. You don’t need much time. Three to five minutes of consistent relaxation and clearheaded-ness is all you need when you’re first getting started. Lay on your bed or sit up in a chair. The two most important things to do is to breathe and relax your body. Focus on every breathe you take. Feel your chest inflate with each draw of a breath, then feel it sink while you slowly exhale.
This is what you want to occupy your mind with, but make sure your body is in a relaxed position too. For beginners, laying down with your head and neck supported by a pillow is probably best. If you’d rather sit up in a chair then make sure you’re not slouching. Rest into the back of the chair and roll your shoulders back. Once you’ve found your comfy spot, set a timer for five minutes, close your eyes and focus on every breath.
If you’re not sure how to get started, we recommend an easy-to-follow course or guide, like the meditation options from online learning platform, Udemy. The one we’ve selected above has a 4.9-star rating out of five and users praise it for helping them unwind and re-focus after particularly stressful moments in their life.
2. Try a “Meditation Headband”
If you’re someone who likes to track your progress and wants to implement a meditation routine, then Muse 2 is the tech you’ll need. This brain sensing headband contains sensors that will track and provide real-time feedback on your mind, heart, breathing and body. No more trying to figure out if you’re doing it right with this extremely intuitive tech. You just throw the headband on over your forehead and sync it up with the Muse app on your mobile device so you can run a program.
The app will play a soundscape aloud for you, that varies from loud and abrasive sounds, like a storm, to soft and calm sounds, like birds chirping in an open field. Your Muse app will play the sound that corresponds with your brain activity. The first time I tried Muse 2, I was blown away by how responsive it was. I tried to remain still and focus on every breathe, but I left my computer open beside me and when I heard a email notification sound, I peaked over at my computer and the app immediately responded with a louder and more hectic soundscape. The same would happen if I tensed up my jaw too much or began moving my legs or arms. This makes it easy to know when you’ve got too much activity going on in your head. Release it and get into that calm and focused groove. Muse 2 will also allow you to set up a schedule and get reminders to meditate. This way you can develop a healthy and consistent meditation routine.
3. Sensory Deprivation Tank
You may have heard of these in the past few years as they have been coming increasingly popular. A sensory deprivation tank is all about tuning out all stimuli that might distract your consciousness while you’re meditating. The tank is full of water that is warmed to 98 degrees to match your body temperature and then they dump 1,000 pounds of salt in it to make the human body float on top of the water. This gives you a weightless feeling. Lastly they put a cover or lid on the tank to block out any light.
Check out a site like SpaFinder.com, which made its name as a site listing some of the best spas and salons in the country. They’ve now updated their offerings to let you book meditation classes, “float therapy” sessions and sensory deprivation experiences too.
With no visual, auditory or feeling stimulus to interrupt your train of thought, it is said that these deprivation tanks can lead to an entirely different level of concentration and control over your thoughts. Most people even lose track of time while they are in the tank. Now that’s some deep thought.