What Is Focused Meditation
Meditation is the practice of becoming self-aware through breath and attention to connect the mind, body, and spirit.Meditation as a whole can change the structure and function of our brain. That being said, focused meditation or a guided meditation for focus is by far the best one. Meditation for focus and concentration can come in different forms. Experienced meditators use the following:
- Mindfulness this meditation involves us to be focusing on your breath and observing thoughts. This allows us to focus on our feelings without becoming too absorbed in them.
- Concentrative a meditation that gets us to focus on a particular point be it a word, breath, object, or a point in the space youre meditating. This is meant for us to pay attention to that point and prevent our minds from getting distracted.
- Moving this meditation involves gets us to focus on slow and repetitive movements similar to yoga or tai chi. The goal is again to be focusing on your breath while relaxing your body and mind with the movements.
Focused meditation, also known as concentrative meditation, is the practice of meditating and bringing your attention to one single object. This object can be something practical and tangible, such as a mandala painting or a candle flame. It can also be something abstract, such as a phrase or a sound .
Personal Problems That Can Cause Stress
- Your health, especially if you have a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis
- Emotional problems, such as anger you can’t express, depression, grief, guilt, or low self-esteem
- Your relationships, such as having problems with your relationships or feeling a lack of friendships or support in your life
- Major life changes, such as dealing with the death of a parent or spouse, losing your job, getting married, or moving to a new city
- Stress in your family, such as having a child, teen, or other family member who is under stress, or being a caregiver to a family member who is elderly or who has health problems
- Conflicts with your beliefs and values. For example, you may value family life, but you may not be able to spend as much time with your family as you want.
Change What You Drink
What you drink can have both a positive and negative effect on you. And sometimes its more about how much of something you drink.
For example, moderate caffeine intake increases attention and cognitive function. Its even associated with mood elevation. But high doses of caffeine can induce and exacerbate anxiety.
And unfortunately, I need to burst the bubble around alcohol. Its time to STOP using it as your go-to form coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Im not saying that you cant drink, just that its not a healthy way to de-stress. Abstinence from alcohol is actually associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety.
Luckily, you can naturally reduce stress and anxiety by drinking certain types of decaffeinated teas. For example:
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Ways To Relieve Stress
For our ancestors, stress was a survival skill during brief, life threatening situations. Once the danger passed, their stress levels lowered. However, in todays world, we are constantly bombarded by stressors, such as work deadlines, traffic, and family obligations. We rarely get a break long enough to relax and relieve the stress. The over-activation of our stress hormones have been linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, lower immunity, depression, anxiety, and more.
So how can you relieve stress? Here are five easy stress relievers to get you started.
Point Your Brain At A Problem
If the stress is more mental than physical and you feel your mind looping around itself, give yourself a discrete task, such as organizing your shoes or doing a word puzzle. When youre stressed, your brain may be saying, weve got a problem to solve so it keeps spinning. Thats a good time to engage your mind, says Kissen. If you give it a task to focus on, youll feel calmer and be better able to deal with whats actually stressing you out.
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Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
Balance Your Mood And Body Energy
Like many other massage therapy methods, self-massage is more than just relieving pain. Deep tissue massage therapy has many holistic benefits, such as muscle relaxation, improved blood circulation, and stress relief.
Massage guns, like the Opove Apex, help you release tension from your body. Deep tissues therapy sessions will help you even out your bodys energy levels allowing you to feel more relaxed. Mood balance is achieved by lowering a stress hormone known as cortisol and increasing the production of happy hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.
Therefore, by releasing physical muscle tension in your body, massage gun therapy can help achieve a more positive mental state with less stress. Experts recommend a 1-hour massage for a significant increase in the production of mood-balancing hormones. However, even the short time taken to address problem areas on your body using a massage gun will make a difference to your mental stress levels.
Spend Some Time In Nature
As previously reported by Health, spending time in nature has a profound effect on our stress levels. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, even spending just 20 minutes in a park does wonders for our well-being. According to research psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, author of The Joy of Movement, incorporating a little nature every day is beneficial to managing your stress levels. Depending on how youre social distancing, getting to a park every day may not be easy, but even a short daily walk outside would suffice and help you clear your head.
Look At Your Lifestyle
The choices you make about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it. Try to:
- Find a balance between personal, work, and family needs. This isn’t easy. Start by looking at how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don’t need to do at all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays.
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Simple Tools For Creating A Technique To Reduce Mental Stress
Apply one of the greatest mental energies as tools to any of the above stress relieving activities to create your own individual technique:
When you evoke the emotion of gratitude to any of your activities, you switch your mental state from stressful to peaceful . When you consciously acknowledge gratitude toward the present, you send information to your brain that immediately soothes your central nervous system, producing positive hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones reduce your mental stress and create a good feeling, a feeling of reward for having reached a goal.
Also, try to be grateful for the stressors that challenge your efficiency and signal an opportunity to improve.
Support this activity though rhythmic, conscious breathing and intensify your gratefulness and the feeling of that reward. Use your conscious breathing to create a breathing pattern that will identify the moment as one in which youve created safety, peace, and self-respect within yourself.
Use these two tools to approach the seven activities listed above or any other activities you find as stress relieving, and practice integrating them in ways that work for you.
Once you merge the tools with the activities, youll be able to create your personal technique to reduce your mental stress quickly and naturally and apply it in literally any activity.
Tip : Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isnt as straightforward as it sounds. While its easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. Its all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.
Sure, you may know that youre constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe its your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.
To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
- Do you explain away stress as temporary even though you cant remember the last time you took a breather?
- Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life or as a part of your personality ?
- Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.
Start a stress journal
A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal or use a stress tracker on your phone. Keeping a daily log will enable you to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
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Get A Good Nights Sleep
Sleep and stress tend to cause a vicious cycle if youre stressed, then you cant sleep, which makes you ill-prepared to handle the stressors of the next day, leading to more stress. To relieve stress before bed, try some relaxation techniques and disconnect from technology as much as possible an hour before bedtime. To ensure the proper amount of rest , set an alarm reminding you to go to bed.
Embrace Your Inner Child And Play
When was the last time you colored, played hide and seek, or watched cartoons? Dr. Saltz believes that embracing playtime as an adult can be amazing for stress. Bonus points if you have actual kids around to play with. However determining what that is is entirely up to you and your childhood. Dont be afraid to get silly and embrace whatever uniqueness comes to mind.
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The Type Of Stress Matters
Stress can affect you both instantly and over time .
Acute stress is the body’s instant response to any situation that seems demanding or dangerous. Your stress level depends on how intense the stress is, how long it lasts, and how you cope with the situation.
Most of the time, your body recovers quickly from acute stress. But stress can cause problems if it happens too often or if your body doesn’t have a chance to recover. In people with heart problems, acute stress can trigger an abnormal heartbeat or even a heart attack.
Chronic stress is caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time. This could include having a difficult job or dealing with a chronic disease. If you already have a health problem, stress can make it worse.
Relieve Stress Nausea With Peppermint
We know, we know, reducing stress is often easier said than done. When life throws the kitchen sink at you, heres how to deal with stress nausea as its happening: Find some peppermint.
If youre using peppermint oil topically, just be sure to dilute it first. And bear in mind that peppermint can be poisonous to some pets, including cats, so dont use it in a diffuser if you have furry friends at home.
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Talk It Out With A Friend
When youre feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
Theyre especially important when youre under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Your Attitude Can Increase Or Reduce Stress And Tension
Dealing with stress and tension should begin from within you. External causes might be the trigger for them, but in most cases, your attitude and thoughts are the real causes.
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You might not always be able to deal with external condition, but you can certainly teach yourself to change your attitude.
With a change of attitude, stress and tension would be reduced and might even disappear, irrespective of your external conditions.
Take two different people, with different mental attitudes, and put them in the same situation.
If you observe their behavior, you will see two different behavior patterns.
- One might get stressed easily, feels exhausted, and dwells on negative thoughts.
- The other person remains calm, relaxed and happy, and at the same time also energetic.
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There Are Two Ways to Deal with Stress and Tension
There are ways to release stress and tension after they appear, and there are ways to prevent them from being created.
There are certain things you can do when you experience stress and tension, something like first aid, and there are methods that prevent stress and tension from coming into existence.
The first aid method, consists of certain small things that reduce the stress and tension, while the second method, requires inner work, over a period of time.
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Talk Yourself Through It
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.
Dont worry about seeming crazy just tell yourself why youre stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Other Types Of Relaxation Techniques
Many de-stressing therapies have common goals. They aim to help you pay attention to your body and focus on aspects of your breathing or other exercises that will lower your blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being. You can try:
- Biofeedback, which measures body functions and helps you learn to control them.
- Self-hypnosis, in which a practitioner teaches you to relax when you hear a phrase or get a nonspoken cue.
- Massage therapy, which can include Swedish, sports, Shiatsu, or other types of massage.
- Music therapy, when a therapist uses music to accomplish health goals.
- Art therapy, which uses art to enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
- Aromatherapy, or using essential oils as a type of treatment.
- Hydrotherapy, which can include soaking, compresses, or even steam baths.
While relaxation practices are mostly safe for heathy people, there have been reports of negative impacts, such as increased stress, bad thoughts, or a fear of losing control. Talk to your doctor about what practice might be best for you, depending on the relaxation technique you want to try and your health.
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Take Care Of All Problem Areas
Pain is one of the causes of stress. Massage guns will help you reduce your stress levels by eliminating muscle pain. Commonly used to address common stress areas, including the neck, shoulders, and back, massage guns are a useful tool for providing relief to problem parts of the body that are tight, knotted, or in pain. The best way to reduce stress is to address your pain areas before they become a problem. Using the Opove message gun on muscles such as your calves, triceps, quads, and any other group of tight muscles will help you alleviate the pain, recover faster and stay stress-free!
Get In Some Light Exercise
Dr. Saltz recommends doing any form of aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or four times a week a is great for stress, anxiety, and improving your mood. Some examples of heart rate-boosting activities include a light jog, dance cardio, or sex. She encourages you to find an activity that you find the most fun and stick with it. If possible, squeeze it in before work, during your lunch break, or even make exercise a family activity after work by taking a walk.
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