Stress Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation and Meditation

 

Hey there everyone, My names Emma and I’m a registered nurse who works on an incredibly busy ward in my hospital. In my time as a nurse I have suffered with sore feet and lower back pain for many years. I’ve discovered ways to deal with those ailments by wearing the right shoes, compression socks and doing stretching exercises on a regular basis. I have also discovered that part of the reason l had suffered with these ailments for so long, was also due to not being able to switch my mind off from the toils and troubles of the day. The body does its very best healing, recovering, reviving and recharging when asleep or at rest. This is not at all possible when you are unable to switch off from your workday and let your mind and body relax. If you are stressed, worrying and fretting over the things that have happened during your day you will not be able to enter a relaxed state and allow your mind and body the time it needs to recover after a long shift. I know this as I work on a ward that at times can be extremely emotionally draining as I work on a ward where people regularly suffer loss or are very emotionally vulnerable and very poorly. This is why I have created this post Stress Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation and meditation today as to give you a few pointers on what may help you to switch off from work and achieve a more relaxing and restful state.

Types Of Relaxation and Meditation Techniques

There are many types of relaxation and meditation techniques such as visualization, meditation and prayer if you are religious. There are also countless ways to relax such as listening to music, reading engaging in hobbies/Interests and socializing. I have covered the different methods of how to relax and rest after work in a previous post please check it out here. Stress and Relaxation – Rest and Relax

There are thousands of programmes out there and the popular belief is that these techniques are for the spiritually enlightened, people looking for inner peace and the deeply religious. Now I’m here to tell you that this is not the case as I am none of those things. I used to think the same, as my idea of meditating was a monk on a hillside chanting and burning incense for hours at a time. I don’t doubt that there are people who achieve spiritual enlightenment and inner peace from meditation but it is also extremely beneficial to use for beginners like you and me to enable reaching a relaxing and restful state.

Meditating and Visualization has enabled me to completely switch my mind from the stresses of the day and reach a relaxed, restful and calm state. These methods take minutes rather than hours and they fit into my home and work life with ease. The following are the methods that I use.

I would like to focus on these methods today.

Visualization

This method of relaxing involves completely emptying your mind of negativity ( easiest with your eyes closed ) whilst trying to visualize and focus your mind on nice, beautiful and positive places, people and feelings. This should allow your mind to become peaceful and calm as you are completely focused on something other than your stressful day at work.

When practicing visualization I almost always envisage our last family holiday, we are always at the beach and the weather is quite amazing. I can feel the light breeze and the warmth of the sun on my skin. I can hear my children giggling and the sounds of the waves lapping at the shore. For me this is a perfect day.

I will focus on this scene for 5 – 10 minutes whilst sat comfortably in a quiet place without any distractions. This is normally long enough to bring on a feeling of contentment, happiness and positivity. You can visualize whatever you want as long as focusing on it leaves you feeling happy, content and relaxed. This should enable you to switch your mind from the stresses of your work day. If you find yourself struggling to maintain your focus for 5 – 10 minutes at the start, you may want to try a few minutes at a time and build up to 10 minutes.

I find this method also extremely effective as an aid to getting myself off to sleep, especially on nights when I find myself struggling to drop off to sleep.

Meditation

This relaxation method is very often misunderstood, as I have stated previously people generally think that this technique is only for yoga experts and the spiritually enlightened and takes years to learn but this just simply isn’t true. Meditation can benefit anyone who wants to relax and reach a restful state This technique has been a very effective way to cope with stress and allow the body and mind to reach relaxation, calmness and restfulness for thousands of years.

Benefits of meditation

Some benefits of meditation include:

  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Increases positivity and emotional well-being
  • Enhancement of self awareness
  • Keeps you more attentive and focused
  • Improve your sleeping patterns
  • Can aid to reduce high blood pressure

Basic Meditation for beginners

There are many techniques and programmes you can follow to meditate. Personally I use the very basic breathing meditation technique which is for beginners, as I’ve only recently incorporated meditation into my relaxation regime.

When you start off it’s recommended practicing this method for a few minutes at a time and then once you are comfortable with it you can try longer periods.

  1. You begin by sitting or Lying Comfortably. If in a chair try to sit upright and if lying down you may want to use a cushion for your head.
  2. Once comfortable close your eyes and just breathe naturally, do not try to control your breath, just breathe.                                                                           
  3. Now you should focus your complete attention on the breath and how your body is moving with every inhale and exhale. Really focus on your whole body as you breathe.
  4. Try to focus on how your chest, shoulders, ribs and the belly move with your breath. Keep that focus on your breath whilst all the time just breathing naturally. If at any point during the meditation you feel your mind wandering or drifting to other thoughts just try to concentrate back on your breath.

 

That’s it. It is such a simple technique and does take a bit of getting used to, but I am finding it so effective as part of my nightly relaxation routine, especially if I’m struggling not to dwell on things that have happened during the work day. I have now worked up to practicing this method for between 7 – 10 minutes of an evening and it helps me so much to de-stress, relax for the evening and switch my mind away from the troubles of my day.

There are many other meditation techniques including concentration meditation and mindfulness meditation. Moving meditation techniques such as Tai chi and walking meditation and quite a few others.

It is recommended that if you are a beginner you start off very simply and for a few minutes at a time. You can build up to slightly longer periods and trying other methods once you are comfortable with the process. I will be researching and covering the other meditation techniques in a later article but this is the technique I would recommend when first trying meditation. As with all relaxation techniques, meditation is not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. It will take a bit of trial and error to find which technique suits you best.

If you’re a working mum/dad/parent like myself whichever method you’re using will need to be achievable in a shorter period of time and very effective, as we really don’t have time to waste on things that don’t work or take too long. This is why I’ve recommended the basic breathing meditation technique to you today as I’ve tried and tested it for a while now and it genuinely works for me.

Guided Meditation – Is it for me?

There are also many forms of guided meditation techniques and programmes out there that are very popular and people use these to great effect to reach the required relaxing and restful state needed to allow the body and mind to recover and recharge ready for the next day. As of the moment I need to thoroughly research guided meditation before I could offer any review or recommendation.

I have had a few specific programmes recommended to me and there is one that I really like the sound of. It’s for beginners and this technique is achievable in seven minutes which would fit into my requirements completely. I am in the process of researching this presently and I will publish my findings on it once I have completely looked into it.

I will be reviewing guided meditation techniques in a later article and will rate them and make recommendations based on my research. As you probably know I only ever recommend things that I have personal experience and belief in or I have researched it thoroughly and am happy to recommend it from my findings.

I wanted to create this article today as I have found so much benefit from my basic introduction to meditation, that I thought it could also help some of you who are struggling to reach a relaxing and restful state from not being able to switch the work day off.

That’s it for today, If you have any questions or need a hand please leave a comment in the box or e-mail me at emma@comfyshoesfornurses.com and I will do my best to help.

Happy Nursing

Have a great day

Emma

Comfy Shoes For Nurses

 

 

8 thoughts on “Stress Relaxation Techniques – Relaxation and Meditation

  1. Holly Reply

    These are some wonderful tips for stress relief. I need to be better at meditation and visualization, or at least give it a whole hearted try. I have a type A personality and it it hard for me in a busy schedule to want to take the time to do these sorts of things because it seems unproductive, but I know taking the time to do them can increase productivity elsewhere.

    Thanks again for the tips–I’m going to challenge myself to spend some time on this tonight.

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Holly, I hope some of the techniques can benefit you when you give them a try as they’ve really helped me. Just remember start off with a few minutes at a time and build your way up from there. I used to think that this type of thing was a waste of my time too, but I couldn’t have been more mistaken and as the techniques take a little time to carry out I’ve managed to fit them in to my daily routine with ease.

      Please check back in from time to time as I’m presently reviewing a meditation technique product that has come highly recommended and I think it could be of some benefit to you as it is a 7 minute technique which I’m sure would fit into your routine easily. I should have the review finished soon and I will post it on my site.

      Thanks and good luck with the techniques.

      Have a lovely relaxed day.

      Emma

  2. Matthew Reply

    Omg! I’m so glad I found this post about stress relaxation techniques as for the last year or so I have been suffering from anxiety and depression making my life a complete misery, to be honest.

    You have covered everything I need to know about being a more relaxed person

    I, like yourself, have always thought that meditation was for someone who was very spiritual but I recently tried a bit myself and found it to be completely relaxing.

    It has to be somewhere quiet so there’s no point in sitting on the living room floor with the kids running around screaming, you need to find a quiet area of the house and take some time to yourself when you can get the chance.

    How long do you meditate for overall with all your techniques?

    I honestly loved this post and have bookmarked it for future references.

    Thanks for your help 🙂

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Matthew, I’m so glad you found this post helpful. I generally meditate for up to about ten minutes. I know it doesn’t seem that long but it fulfills my needs and helps me to completely relax and switch my mind off from the stresses of my day. I’ve only recently switched more towards meditation as before I was using the visualization technique more. I still use the visualization technique but more when trying to get too sleep as this really helps me and its also a great way to relax when I’m using my foot spa. 

      My husband suffers with high blood pressure and anxiety and these methods have really helped him too.

      As I said in the article I’m presently reviewing and researching a new relaxation meditation product that has come highly recommended so please check in from time to time as I think this may be of some benefit to you.

      Have a lovely relaxing day and thankyou.

      Emma

  3. Dom Reply

    Hey Emma, 

    Thanks for sharing your expertise on the benefits of meditation. 🙂 It’s one of those things that everyone can benefit from if we’re consistent. 

    I have some limited experience with meditation and staying consistent is always the most difficult aspect. As you mentioned at the beginning, plenty of people (who aren’t monks) practice some form of meditation. (Not to mention everyone was a beginner at some point.)

    Lately, I find that calisthenics and stretching give me a similar feeling of being fully in the present and clearing my mind. Your post inspired me to get back into the routine of meditating on a more regular basis. 🙂

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Dom,

      I totally agree with you that meditation can benefit everyone if you find a technique that suits you and you’re comfortable with. Once you find the right technique it is then important to keep some consistency with it. I’m glad you are managing to relax with the calisthenics and stretching. Good luck with the meditating.

      Have a great day.

      Emma

  4. julienne murekatete Reply

    Thank you for sharing such important lesson o meditation. I most like to start meditation class but i didn’t know how and by which means i will learn it. With this lesson ” meditation for beginners” ,i am going to start my class by tonight and i will tell you the result.

    I watch people meditating  in many asiatic movies and i can tell you that i find it helpful that’s why i had that idea of starting learning about it.Fortunately i found this website.I bookmarked it.Thanks

    • Emma Post authorReply

      Hi Julienne,

      I would recommend starting off with just a few minutes at a time and building up to longer periods of meditating once you’ve gotten used to the technique. I would also start off with the basic breathing technique as this is the one I found the easiest when I first started to practice meditation.

      Please check back in from time to time as I will be posting a lot more on this subject and making some recommendations on different techniques I have tried and researched.

      Thanks and have a great day.

      Emma

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