5 meditations to combat stress and depression

For those living in modern life, stress is something to deal with day after day. Strenuous working hours, endless slopes, lack of movement, disorganization, the accumulation of tasks … All this translates into intense headaches, a constant feeling of anxiety and dispersion. And, in the long run, it can lead to serious health problems , such as being overweight, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.

The good news? It is possible to combat stress with some simple techniques, but they must be carried out on a recurring basis to ensure that they work. One of the most effective is meditation. This millennial method has endless benefits, both on a physiological and mental level: it helps to obtain mental clarity and focus and to eliminate tensions, among many other things.

Although meditating at any time of the day will have a good effect, it is best to do it right after waking up, when everything is still and silent.

5 meditations to combat stress and depression
5 meditations to combat stress and depression

These are some meditation techniques that will help you eliminate stress and start your day like new.

1. Mantra to calm the mind

Mantras are words or phrases that are recited aloud or internally, repetitively and rhythmically, and that help focus the mind and prevent dispersion. Various scientific studies have shown that its vibrations are beneficial to the mind , helping to calm it and allowing it to enter a meditative state.

These songs are an excellent resource for people who are beginning in the practice of meditation. Here you can find some mantras to calm down and easily enter a meditative state.

2. deep breath

Breathing is the starting point of all meditation techniques. It can be combined with other relaxation techniques, such as music and aromatherapy.

To practice this technique, sit comfortably with your back straight. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Breathe slowly through your nose, hold the air for a few seconds, and exhale slowly until the air is completely emptied . Take care that, when inhaling, the hand on your chest moves as little as possible. As you exhale, push the air in with the muscles in your abdomen.

You can also do this exercise lying on the floor, or in bed before sleeping: it will help you fall asleep.

3. The sixth chakra

The sixth chakra or ajna chakra is located on the forehead, right in the middle of the eyes. The Hindu tradition considers it the point where our intuition is concentrated, and that allows us to direct our mind towards our goals. This point is key to eliminate dispersion and learn to manage our energy.

Sit in a quiet place, adopt a comfortable posture and close your eyes. Concentrate on the point that is located right in the middle of your eyes and visualizes an indigo blue color. Try to erase all thoughts from your mind and focus only on that point. Inhale and exhale: with each inhalation you can recharge it with energy, and with each exhalation, eliminate everything that does not serve you.

This meditation technique is ideal for reducing migraines, nervous tics and insomnia, among other stress related discomforts.

Related: Infographic: 10 Foods That Will Help You Sleep

4. Visualization

Sit cross-legged and back straight. To begin, relax with a couple of deep breaths. Start imagining yourself as if you were sitting in front of a mirror: visualize every part of your body in detail, from the tip of your head to your toes. Look at yourself as if you were someone else: analyze how you are dressed, hairstyle, your features, expressions etc. So imagine from behind. Then from above, below, and finally, take a panoramic view.

5. Muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation consists of systematically tensing and relaxing the muscles of the body. This meditative technique takes some time, so try to do it without haste.

Lie on your back on a comfortable surface, with arms and feet outstretched and hands turned up. Close your eyes and take a deep breath to remove the tension. When you feel ready, focus all your attention on your toes . Contract them as much as you can and count to ten, then relax. Do the same with each part of your body: your ankles, tendons, thighs, hips, abdomen, chest, hands, arms, neck, face …

Focus on the feeling that remains after you contract and relax every muscle in your body. You will feel like new when you finish!

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