7 Calming Meditation Techniques As Told By An Expert

Sakshi Kore , 28 Sep 2020

As the pace of our lives increases by the day, overstressing, anxiety issues and more become all the more a fixated problem in our lives. Pre-pandemic, “me time” was a farfetched reality but when the virus hit and life came to a standstill and time was available in abundance, “me time” was still an unaffordable luxury to many. The stresses of modern times are unparalleled but looking after our well-being continues to be our individual responsibility. And if you’re on the hunt for ways to keep calm and retain your ability to sail through life with a clear mind, meditation is your ultimate answer. Now, do it for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, there’s plenty of techniques out there you can practice. And for flexible timings. We spoke to Namita PiparaiyaYoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle specialist who listed down calming meditation techniques along with their benefits and more. Here’s what she says:

Namita Piparaiya
Namita Piparaiya

Meditation is a powerful way to find some semblance of serenity and calmness in our busy, fast-paced lives. Meditation is actually essential if we want to cleanse ourselves of the daily stresses that would otherwise accumulate, sapping us of energy and vitality. A positive aspect is that there is no one right way to meditate. There are many different methods to calm down our nervous system, and you’re bound to find one that appeals to your inherent nature. Once you find that method, consistency in meditation becomes a lot easier.

Scroll ahead for 7 meditation techniques that will allow you to sail through life stress-free:

1. Breath awareness

Benefit: This method helps calm the nervous system and reduces anxiety.

This is a simple but powerful method where you focus on taking long, slow and deep breaths. All your awareness is on the process of breathing, which helps you disconnect your thoughts from other events in your life. Breath awareness can also be done by counting when you breathe. You can pick a comfortable number, such as four, and then inhale for a count of four, then exhale for four. This helps activate the relaxation response in your brain and puts the body in healing mode.

Breath Awareness
Breath Awareness

2.Visualization

Benefit: This method is useful for goal-setters as it can help you achieve what you visualize.

Visualization is not just hype; new research is discovering that our brain is quite visual. We can stimulate parts of the brain by merely visualizing ourselves doing something, without actually lifting a finger. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a beautiful garden with a freshwater stream and butterflies, smelling like roses. And your brain will respond like it’s actually there, helping you get into a good mood. And that’s exactly what we tap into in visualization meditation. By imagining beautiful scenes or creating positive visions of our future, we can relax and motivate ourselves.

Visualization
Visualization

3. Progressive Relaxation

Benefit: This method is excellent to manage work-related stress and has also been found useful in insomnia.

This is a powerful stress management technique where different body parts are first tensed up and then relaxed slowly. This practice is ideal in a lying down position. You contract specific muscles as you inhale, hold the breath as you continue to contract those muscles, and then immediately relax as you exhale. This technique is also used in Kriya Yoga to prepare for meditation as it puts us in a deeply relaxed state.

Progressive Relaxation
Progressive Relaxation

4. Yoga Nidra

Benefit: Yoga Nidra particularly helps unlock creativity.

This is a guided meditation technique in which you enter a sleep-like state. It takes you into the state of neither being awake nor asleep, the elusive in-between step. A teacher guides you into this state with a series of instructions, and the ability to hold our awareness in that state is said to reduce stress, depression, anxiety.

Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra

5. Chanting and prayer

Benefit: Chanting and prayer are both highly effective in preventing unwanted thoughts in mind.

Prayers can have a profound effect deep within our minds, influencing how we see the world, and even bring practical relief, such as reducing our cravings. The act of praying releases chemicals that helps us feel safe, thereby reducing our stress levels. Chanting is both a form of meditation and prayer and has some additional benefits as it uses the healing power of sound vibrations.

Chanting And Praying
Chanting And Praying

6. Trataka

Benefit: Trataka is good for students as it improves concentration and can be effective in improving eyesight.

Trataka is a preliminary meditation technique and also one of the six purification practices of Hatha Yoga in which you intently stare at an object. Typically, this object is the flame of a candle or a black dot. It is an excellent way to calm the restless mind and improve our ability to concentrate. Ancient texts also state that practising this removes fatigue and laziness. It should be done gently, in moderation to ensure the practice remains safe.

Trataka
Trataka

7. Sun Salutations

Benefit: Surya Namaskaras, in particular, are good for anxiety when we are too overwhelmed with thoughts to sit still. By constantly moving, chanting and re-focussing we are able to disconnect completely from negative thoughts.

Sun Salutations when done in a specific way can give us the benefits of dynamic meditation. In dynamic meditation, the movements are repetitive and rhythmic and can be accompanied by breath awareness or chants. We can bring that same intention in Sun Salutations by doing them with our eyes closed while chanting the 12 Surya Mantras and mentally visualizing the rising sun. This helps us integrate the benefits of movement, chanting, and gratitude. All of which, as we have seen, are not just feelings but powerful chemical reactions in our brain.

Sun Salutations
Sun Salutations

Meditation is fairly easy and comes with a slew of benefits that are all the more important in today’s day and age. It doesn’t require much time, energy or space. Just a little bit of patience and consistency. We hope this article will motivate you to practice meditation and make it a part of your daily routine.

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