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Let’s take a guess…
The daily stress of your routine is probably making it difficult for your fall asleep at night.
Mediation is the key to relieving all that stress and falling in deep slumber peacefully at night.
In fact, meditation can also help you improve your memory as you grow older.
So lets get rid of stress by meditating a few minutes every day.
No, popping pills is not the answer to getting some zzzs at night.
Proven Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Meditation teaches us to take this route and find what suits our body the best.
In a study, published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was found out that meditation can help with stress, sleep, mood swing and memory function.
The study lasted for 8 weeks and the participants were told to meditate twice for 11 minutes, daily.
The results were the same in both the genders: there was a significant improvement in sleep time, mood and stress.
History of Meditation
In ancient times, herbs were used to treat all kinds of ailments.
Moreover, whatever herb or foods you will use to treat your stress and sleep problem, will be more beneficial and long lasting than any medicine.
When you divide the words meditation, you get two separate words:
“Med”, which translates to “attend to” and “tion”, which translates to “the condition of”
Combine them together and you have a phrase: Condition of paying attention.
In simpler terms, meditation allows you to pay attention to something that supports your self-transformation goal.
This is what we call spiritual healing.
Every religion has its own method such as the Sufism of Islam, Chakra of India, Shamanism of Mongolia, Aikido of Japan, etc.
According to archaeologists, meditation dates back to 5,000 years.
Back then, meditation involved a mantra and simple focus technique that allowed people to relax.
The first mention of meditation is in the teachings of Vedas, dating back to 1500 BCE.
Once meditation became entered the mainstream, India, Japan and China opened meditation halls.
In 2014, the largest meditation event took place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Around 33,061 people were present at the gathering and others joined through live streaming.
The event was streamed by 140,000 people, which resulted in a Guinness World Record.
How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation
1. Focus On Your Surroundings First
First, being mindful or being aware of your surroundings starts by focusing on yourself.
In a calming mindful state, you allow your emotions to flow through your so that you can let go of the past and focus on the present.
Mindfulness meditation has the power to banish stress in the background so that you can maintain a carefree routine and sleep peacefully at night.
According to a 2011 study published in the International Journal of Yoga, meditation helps induce a positive response when you are under stress.
The study the IAM (Integrated Amrita Meditation) technique, the progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) technique and the life change questionnaire (LCQ).
IAM is a 20-minute meditation technique that follows Pranayama (breathing exercise), which was the basis of the study.
After 8 months of training, the LCQ scores were compared and it was found out that the group practicing Pranayama had reduced stress levels.
Thousands of studies have been conducted on how meditation can help reduce stress.
A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy focused on finding out how meditation practice can promote mental health.
More than 300 older adults took part in the study.
A few of them were expert meditators and the rest were amateur meditators.
Two trials were conducted of 2 months and 18 months, and the results were compared.
The attention and memory of participants were tested, to find out how their cognition did throughout the study.
Their anterior, prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortexes were analyzed and it was found that there was a significant, positive change in the brain structure.
Now that you know how meditation can help you get rid of stress, let’s start with a basic exercise to warm you up:
2. Practice Breathing Awareness
Stress and sleep are closely related.
If you are stressed and thinking about all the things you did wrong that day and the day before that, chances are that you will be counting sheep all night long.
So, follow the below steps and you will feel the stress leaving your body as you get comfortable in bed:
- Lie down on your back in bed and pay attention to your breathing.
- Mentally count your each inhale and exhale, and feel the air moving out of your lungs.
- Imagine the air you are inhaling is coming from somewhere far away.
- On your exhale, blow the air out slowly to the same place.
While doing this meditation technique, you need a mantra to keep your focus.
You can either count the breaths as we said above or say the word “relax” on every inhale and exhale.
The exercise is not over yet!
Bear with us: does the air have some kind of scent or taste?
Focus on that and on your next exhale, let go of your feelings.
3. Body Scan Relaxation Technique
This meditation technique involves going on a trip mental trip that will allow you to enter this calm, Zen-like state, which will take over your body and the negative energy will drain right out of you.
- Lie down on your back in bed and completely relax your body.
- Focus on your toes, wiggle them and imagine the tightening and relaxing the muscles.
- Follow the same movements and proceed to your calf, thing, torso, fingers, arms, neck and then finally, your head.
By the time you will reach the last body part, your mind will be paralysed with this relaxed feeling that will take you into a state of deep sleep.
4. Interrupt Your Thought to Manage Stress
Managing stress is not that hard.
All you need to do is find some clarity, which is the core component of meditation.
How do you do that?
Interrupt your thoughts!
Yup, that’s it.
The moment you find yourself having negative thoughts, stop yourself.
The more times you will do it, the easier it will become for you to look at the positive side of a situation.
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the National Center for Health Statistics that looked at how mainstream meditation has become.
It was random research that focused on the use of yoga, meditation and chiropractic care.
The most opted option was yoga, which was popular among adults.
As for meditation, in 2012, 4.1% of the American population reported doing meditation.
In 2017, the population had risen to 14.2%.
Mindfulness Meditation Exercises
The 16-Second Practice
The above-mentioned techniques not only help you get rid of stress but also allow you to sleep.
However, it’s a long process and best for bedtime.
If you find yourself stressed in the middle of the day with no way out then try this meditation technique:
What is the thing that is bothering you now?
- Whatever that negative feeling is, focus on it.
- Gather all that disappointment and feel it coursing through your body.
- Now direct it to one place and take a front row seat there.
- Inhale deeply but slowly through your nose and count to 4.
- Let the air fill your stomach, hold it there and count to 4.
- On the next count to 4, exhale slowly through the nose and feel the air and your stress leaving your chest.
- Stop for a second, open your eyes and count to 4 one more time.
- Imagine all those negative feeling blowing away and take your next breath normally.
This technique allows you to get rid of stress by meditating anywhere and anytime.
All it takes is 16 seconds and your stress will vanish in the air like poof.
And this concludes our mindfulness meditation techniques that will help you live your life stress-free.
Ooh… and don’t forget the beauty sleep you will have after all those negative thoughts will leave your mind.
If you want to know more about how to live a healthy and fit life by changing your daily routine for the better, then browse our blog at Health and Fitness Promoter.