Learning To Relax For Better Mental Health
Meditation is both an ancient spiritual practice and a contemporary mind-body technique for relaxing the body and calming the mind. Its roots can be traced back to ancient times.
Meditation is the first mind-body intervention to be widely adopted in mainstream health care in Western society and around the world. Various techniques of meditation are now widely taught in medical settings such as VA clinics and hospitals. Meditation is often prescribed as a healing technique for relaxing the body and calming the mind, as it has done since the beginning of recorded history.
Simple Meditation Exercise “Breathing”
- Take a relaxed position sitting or lying down (which ever is more comfortable for you).
- Be conscious of your breathing. Inhale & exhale gently feeling each breath.
- The aim is to become fully aware of our breathing. We are trying to identify totally with this simple action. But, it is more than just breathing in mechanically.
- When you breathe out feel that you are exhaling any tension, worries or anxieties.
- Focus on a single pleasant thought. Sometimes it helps to imagine being in soothing location like a beach with the ocean waves flowing in.
- Feel your body relax starting from the tips of your toes (flex your toes then relax them to begin with) then mentally work your way up along your legs through your midsection feeling your muscles relax one by one. Feel your chest gently rise and fall with your breathing
- At this point you’ll be able to feel each heart beat. Concentrate on that beat. It may start to increase when you try this but concentrate on it slowing to the rhythm of your breathing
- Continue relaxing your body along your arms, neck to the top of your head. You’ll find yourself relaxing deeper and deeper each time you try this process and a deeper state of meditation can be reached each time with continued practice.