From the daily grind of a career to the headaches that come from paying the bills and raising a family, everyone experiences stress. And in most people, stress manifests itself as physical problems. Seventy-seven percent of people in the U.S. regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, causing many to seek treatment and relief from back and body pain.
If you suffer from stress, you could benefit from incorporating some of these simple meditations into your everyday life.
1. Just breathe
Focusing on the simple act of breathing deeply can work wonders when you are wound tight. Close your eyes (and your office door) for a few minutes and concentrate on the sensation of breathing in and out deeply through your nose.
2. Take time to listen
As you sit with your eyes closed, think about the sounds you hear—soft chatter, the gentle rush of the central air. Whatever it is, recognize it and consider your place within this environment.
3. Go for a nature walk
Getting out in nature, even if only for a ten-minute stretch break, is a great way to relieve stress. The fresh air and change in environment can help your mind to relieve itself of stressful thoughts and bring you into the here and now.
4. Unplug and rest
For just a moment, turn off your phone or computer. Close your eyes and let your mind wander—maybe even take a power nap. Spending just 10-15 minutes resting can rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.
5. Have a mindful snack
What if you could use your break time to fill your meditation meter along with your stomach? Consider mindful eating: really noticing and appreciating your food’s look, taste, texture, and smell, as well as the journey it took to get to your plate.
Journaling about your day or your thoughts is a great form of meditation. Buy a small notebook to carry around with you, and let your stresses flow onto the page—and out of your head—throughout the day as needed.
7. Stretch it out
If you feel stress coming on, stand and spend a few minutes stretching. This will loosen you up and make your body more comfortable and prepared for the rest of the day (and whatever it may bring).
8. Get in Sync
While we’re talking about your body, when was the last time you really paid attention to it from head to toe? For a moment, pay attention to the feel of your body. Concentrate on the sensation of each part, from your toes to the crown of your head. Don’t forget the heart!
9. Try a mantra
Using a mantra, or a phrase repeated over and over, helps to create serenity through sound and vibration. Sit in stillness and repeat your mantra out loud until your body is settled. Some mantra ideas are: “I am,” “I can,” or even the classic, “Om.”
10. Make a morning routine
Start your day off on the right foot by recognizing what routine you enjoy. Maybe it’s a cup of tea and a crossword, or perhaps it’s a morning walk with the dog. If you don’t have a morning routine, make one and stick to it for at least a week. This is a great way to start your day with purpose and a positive frame of mind.