Have you tried to meditate and given up in frustration? Does this frustration make you feel more anxious than relaxed? If you feel frustrated by your inability to quiet your mind, try this guided meditation as a simple alternative to a more formal practice.
Any kind of meditation can have physiological, emotional, and psychological benefits. Guided meditations give the mind a focus while still allowing you to escape the mind’s every-day busyness and constant chattering. Using your imagination and a guided meditation can help you naturally find peace and a sense of contentment by quietly allowing your mind to settle into a state of calm.
This simple exercise relies on using your imagination to help you relax. First, read through the directions and then try it for yourself.
Imagine yourself in a sunny place where you feel safe and secure. It can be a place you have visited before or it can be a place you only imagine. See yourself sitting in this place feeling very safe and secure. Feel bathed by the soft sunlight. Bask in that sunlight, feeling it bathe and warm you. Enjoy the experience of feeling that warmth. Breathe in the warmth and let it fill you from head to toe. If you notice any tensions in your body, let the sun’s soft warmth gently relax your muscles and any tension your muscles may be holding. As you’re imagining yourself sitting there, if your mind starts to drift or gets busy with everyday concerns (as minds have a tendency to do), just bring yourself back to feeling the sunlight bathe you. Relax into the warmth of the sunlight.
That’s all there is to it! Spend a few minutes imagining yourself in a safe place being bathed by a warm, golden light. There are no rules to this and you can change it to suit yourself. You can even change the color from golden to any other color that appeals to you. Maybe you feel you would rather be bathed in blue or purple! When you start, you can ask yourself what color appeals to you most and go with that.
You can create your own mini-vacation and enjoy the physiological, emotional, and psychological benefits of meditating by travelling in your mind to your favorite space and allowing yourself to enjoy the warmth of the sun. Increase your happiness and sense of well-being by gifting yourself with time for yourself. Give yourself a break from your constant busyness and let your mind and body relax. After a few minutes, you can return to your everyday life feeling more relaxed, refreshed, and restored.
Do you consider relaxing a waste of precious time? Do you feel guilty if you aren’t constantly productive? You may be overlooking the very real benefits of time to rest and relax. Instead of a luxury, relaxation can lead to extreme happiness by playing an essential role in mental and physical health.
Stress is a major health problem and it has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, and other serious illnesses. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, up to 90% of all visits to doctors are for stress-related disorders.
Rest and relaxation top the list of effective self-care and stress management techniques. Relaxation boosts happiness by counteracting the stress response – muscles relax, breathing and heartbeat slow down, and the digestive system functions more efficiently. Regular relaxation strengthens the immune system and helps the body heal itself, reducing the effects of chronic stress. Incorporate relaxation into your life and notice that you begin to feel better!
While it may not seem logical, you may get more done by taking breaks and doing less. When you take a break, relax, and let your thoughts slow down, the mind begins to access the resources of the right brain – the creative, intuitive, and non-linear part of the mind. After relaxing, you may find that you approach your work with a new perspective and that you are able to generate new solutions to problems.
Relaxation further contributes to happiness by providing a detachment from everyday busyness that enables us to realize what is really important to us. When we operate from our values, we are usually happier and more satisfied with our lives.
Quick relaxation techniques are useful in dealing with immediate stress. Stopping, even for the shortest time, will recharge your batteries and will give you more energy. Create little breaks in your busy schedule. Consider your home your sanctuary and place of relaxation. Set boundaries to keep it as work-free as possible and avoid the temptation to bring work home by complaining about it.
Regular, concentrated rest and relaxation has a deeper and more permanent effect on reversing stress. Explore leisurely activities apart from your work. Choose something that you consider relaxing and that you will commit to doing on a regular basis. This might be sports, gardening, reading, exercise, or even time to daydream – whatever you choose should be something that you enjoy. There is no point in creating more stress for yourself by forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy!
Be a friend to yourself and give yourself the gift of rest. Learn to value rest and relaxation as much as you value activity. And, enjoy increased happiness as you reduce the stress in your life!