While meditation has a strong reputation as a stress buster, not many of us can manage to sit there and do nothing—even for a few minutes. Recently, government officers in Central India were ordered to practice daily meditation for 20 minutes during work hours. The move was meant to help them de-stress, but many complained that the forced silence was actually more upsetting than healing.
If only the administration had thought of these fun, easy ideas that can help you revive your happy self without the slightest stress:
Smile meditation: Sit in a comfortable corner or lie in bed. Close your eyes, and smile. Conjure up positive, happy images in your mind, as if turning the pages of a family album. If you’re lying in bed at night, imagine that you have an open sky overhead, filled with brilliant stars. If you meditate before getting out of bed, stay there awhile, eyes closed, and imagine that the sun is pouring gentle gold on your entire being. Keep your eyes relaxed and your jaw muscles loose. Don’t worry about how long your meditation should be. Just think of happy things, and smile.
Candle meditation: why is ‘candle meditation’ done anyway? Simple: it helps you focus your restless mind on a moment. And the flame of the candle is a vital element of nature: composed of fire and light. Place a lit candle on a low table, and sit cross legged before it. Gaze at the candle for as long as you can, without blinking; try for 30 seconds or one full minute—it does not matter. Eyes watering a little? No worries. When your eyes feel tired, close them and imagine the flame in your mind’s eye. Even three full minutes of this candle gazing is wonderfully calming, and prepares you to face the day in a relaxed state of mind.
Walking meditation: stroll out into a place you find beautiful and relaxing –ideally, a green leafy garden or somewhere close to water. Walk at a gentle pace. Keep your eyes open, but visualize your head, neck, limbs and all of your body loosen up. Picture the tensions of the day melting away with each step. Walk for at least 20 minutes, and don’t worry if you find all sorts of thoughts crossing your mind. Let them come and go, like fellow walkers. You will feel wonderfully happy at the end of your walk—and of course, it’s the best exercise!
Music meditation. Experts say that music pulsing at about 60 beats per minute helps induce an alpha state, the same relaxed state created by meditation. Gentle, melodious music soothes a racing pulse and steadies the heart. As a result, stress starts to slink away. So, put on your favorite CD. Tune in, chill out, and relax!
Breathing meditation: this is my favorite way to meditate. Right now, as you’re reading this, you can shift focus to your breath. Take a deep breath. Feel the air go deep into your body. Count to five and then breathe out, slowly and fully. Repeat as many times as you comfortably can. Deep breathing improves circulation and releases stress. And just five minutes of a breathing meditation can make you feel like new.
4 Free Guided Meditation Tools