How to Relieve Stress in 10 Ways

Walking into an average office, it’s easy to pinpoint a handful of people who are unwell. When so many are juggling a hectic job, family life and bills, it’s easy for people to struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Many of us wonder how to relieve stress but feel too overwhelmed to start.

Up to a certain point, stress is something that challenges us and helps us grow. However, stress levels build over time to the point when stress makes us chronically unhappy and physically sick. Too much stress leaves no room for your body and mind to rejuvenate, leading to wear and tear. Read more

The Best Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief

Breathing sustains life. It sends oxygen to your lungs and brain. It keeps the heart pumping. It’s essential to life. And, as a bonus for those living in today’s busy society, controlled and mindful breathing also helps you manage stress. Everyone who is subject to today’s busy and stressful way of life could benefit from learning breathing exercises for stress management.

By taking control of your breath, you can reset the stress response in your brain. Slow, deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system (which is in charge of the fight-or-flight response) back into rest mode and lowers blood pressure. For those who suffer from anxiety, deep breathing has been shown to provide relief by relaxing muscles. Read more

Practicing Mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh’s Meditations

If you find yourself hung up on the past,  or preoccupied with an unforeseeable future, then mindfulness is for you.

Mindfulness is the simple practice of bringing your whole focus to the present moment. There are many ways to bring mindfulness meditation into your life. One of the best is to follow the guidance of a revered mindfulness leader like master Thích Nhất Hạnh meditations.

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How to Stay Calm and Prevent Anxiety From Taking Over

There are thousands of things to worry about every day. It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of the day and let them build up until you have an anxiety attack. Going around in a constant state of anxiety can prevent you from taking part in your life.

Instead of waiting until you have an anxiety attack, there are many techniques you can use to manage your anxiety and prevent it from getting out of hand.

The best thing you can do is practice mindfulness and incorporate calmness into all parts of your life. After all, it’s much easier to prevent anxiety attacks from happening than it is to calm down from them.

Here are some techniques that will help you stay calm when you incorporate them into your daily routine. Read more

The Most Effective Meditations for Insomnia

Sleep is essential for a healthy life. Sadly, 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems that prevent them from getting a healthy number of Zs. Sleep loss and sleep disorders like sleep apnea are common health problems, yet 80 to 90 percent of adults with sleep disorders are undiagnosed.

Insomnia, or chronic sleeplessness, has huge, negative effects on health. Loss of sleep leads to poor memory, depressed mood, serious mental stress, and more.

How do we overcome sleeplessness?

A good way to start is by pinpointing the reason you can’t sleep. Most of the time, it’s because you’re extremely stressed and can’t let go of those feelings.

That’s where meditation comes in handy.

Meditation is the practice of finding inner calm and releasing negative feelings. Practicing meditation has been shown to help regulate emotional states, lower anxiety and stress, and decrease the symptoms of depression. (Study)

Meditation helps us regulate the stress in our lives and subsequently. helps us get to a better night of sleep.

How Meditation Helps With Sleep

Meditation not only helps you get more sleep, it also helps you get a deeper sleep with a higher intensity of REM waves.

One study have showed that people who practice mindfulness meditations experienced improved sleep quality and a decrease in the symptoms of insomnia.

Another study showed that meditation was a viable treatment for those who suffered from chronic insomnia, with practitioners experiencing fewer symptoms post-meditation, even months after their initial practice.

How does meditation help you get to dreamland?

One of the ways meditation helps you get to sleep is that it actually increases melatonin levels. Melatonin is an important hormone released by the pineal gland that regulates your sleeping cycle and wakefulness.

Another way that meditation gets you to sleep is by training your relaxation response to work a little faster. Meditation helps you stop let go of things you can’t control. By meditating during the day, you strengthen that response so you can call on it when you need it most.

Stop counting sheep and try meditation instead.

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Meditations for Sleep

Meditation may seem like a daunting task, but in practice, it’s relatively simple. The hardest part comes from trying to clear your mind.

A great meditation to start with is the world-renowned mindfulness leader and meditation guru Deepak Chopra. In the following boost, he leads you to sleep deeper with a simple 12 minute meditation.

For a deeper dive into restful meditations, try this “Rest” meditation series from Thich Nhat Hanh. These meditations will help you find compassion for your body, tune into being completely still, and relax your whole body.

YouTube has a good selection of guided meditations that can you help you sleep as well. Many of them come with calming visuals that gently guide your eyes to sleep. Try this popular meditation below.

If you need something more immediate, you can follow a simple two-step meditation to relax. Simply start by bringing your attention to your breath. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, and then breathe out. Do this a few times until you have a controlled, steady pattern of breathing.

When you’re ready, think of a small mantra that can help to ward off stressful thoughts. Repeat the mantra with each inhale and exhale, until you fall asleep.

As we mentioned earlier, meditation is a practice. To really train your relaxation response, try to meditate during the day and not just before sleep.

If you only have a few minutes to spare, this beginner’s meditation will only take 7 minutes of your day.

To reduce stress in your everyday life, and consequently reduce stress before bed, try this another meditation led by Deepak Chopra focusing on stress reduction.

For even better sleep, pair up your meditation practice with these foods or additional methods of falling asleep.

There are many reasons that babies sleep so well but one of the biggest might be because they don’t experience stress the way adults do.

Meditation can help us be kinder to ourselves by letting go of unwarranted, negative thoughts that follow us into the night.

It’s time to try meditation, let go of stress, and sleep like a baby.

A Short Guide to Mindfulness Meditations

Meditating on your own can be difficult, especially if you’re just starting out. Maybe you’ve done a few meditations with the help of someone else, but trying to do them on your own seems impossible. If you’re not familiar with meditation techniques, you might find yourself stressing about remembering what comes next, or you might have simply no idea what to do when it comes time to meditate.

Using guided mindfulness meditations can help you take advantage of the benefits of meditation without having to know what to do on your own. Letting someone else guide you through a meditative process can help you reach goals you might struggle to achieve on your own. There are many different types of guided meditations out there, so you’re sure to find some that are uniquely suited to what you need.

What are Guided Mindfulness Meditations

Guided mindfulness meditations are meditations led by someone else with the intent of helping you be more mindful. Using a premade meditation can help you set and reach your intentions, put aside stress about getting the practice right, and will guide you to states of mind that you might not be able to find on your own. If you get distracted easily, guided meditations are perfect to help you bring your mind back when it starts to wander.

Here are some of the common formats guided meditations take:

Podcasts:  There are thousands of podcasts focused on meditation. If you are picky about the voice of the person guiding you to a state of relaxation, you’ll have plenty to choose from. Most podcasts are available on iTunes, but you can find others on Soundcloud and on company websites.

YouTube:  YouTube is another great place for finding guided meditations. Some of them include visuals to aid your meditation if you have a hard time closing your eyes. As with podcasts, if you don’t like the voice of one person, you don’t have to stick with them! The best part about YouTube videos is that they are all free to use, so you can find guidance for free!

Attending Meditation Classes:  If you’re willing to pay for meditation, there are likely some incredibly knowledgeable meditation teachers in studios nearby. You’ll want to look for someone who has been meditating and teaching meditation for years, as their experience will benefit your search for peace.

Finding and Using a Meditation Script:  Knowledgeable meditation experts have created scripts for those who want to carry out and alter a practice. Many yoga studios and mindfulness experts have created scripts that are available on their websites, or you can search Google for a guided meditation script on a specific topic you want help with.

Benefits of Guided Mindfulness Meditations

A Complete Guide to Mindfulness Meditations 2

Meditation is a great way to deal with the anxiety and stress that comes from everyday life. Trying to balance work, family, friendships, and money can be exhausting, especially when it feels like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Going through guided mindfulness meditations on a regular basis can help you find a moment of peace in an otherwise rushed life.

There are many benefits you can reap from practicing guided meditation on a regular basis.

All You Need to Do is Listen

Many people hesitate to start learning meditation because they feel like they’ll need to work on a specific skill to receive the benefits from it. Guided meditations take away all of that pressure, because someone else is leading you through the practice. All you need to do is listen to their voice and do your best to follow what they are saying. It might seem weird at first, especially if it’s something you haven’t done before, but do your best to trust the person guiding you. They know what they are doing and they have had success in guiding other people through this meditation.

Meditation Improves Your Body’s Hormonal Balance

Meditation isn’t just for your mind, it has many benefits for your body as well. Practicing mindfulness helps keep stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in balance, which when left unchecked, can lead to anxiety and weight gain. It’s also a great way to increase your level of human growth hormone, which reduces stored fat, helps regulate your metabolism, and assists in regulating your blood sugar.

Physical Pain Becomes Easier to Bear

Along with helping your hormones, guided meditations are a great way to reduce chronic pain. Sometimes the pain in our bodies can come from long term stress and trauma. Being guided through meditations can help us to reduce that emotional stress, which then lessens the source of our chronic pain. Meditating mindfully can help pain sufferers lessen their pain by increasing their mental control and will help improve their overall quality of life.

Mental Goals Become Easier to Attain

There are many reasons people turn to meditation. Most of the time, they are searching for a specific outcome or have several different reasons for turning to this practice. Here are a few outcomes people have been able to achieve through practicing guided mindfulness meditations.

  • Improving mental focus and memory
  • Healing from past trauma and pain
  • Enhancing creativity and imagination
  • Relaxing and reducing stress
  • Boosting confidence and self esteem levels
  • Reducing or removing prominent negative thoughts

Mental Health Concerns Are Easier to Address

Because guided meditation works on improving the power of the mind, it makes sense that it would improve some mental illnesses. Many therapists use guided meditations in their treatment of patients. This practice is successful in modifying behaviors and destructive thinking patterns that therapists work to help their patients address in psychotherapy sessions.

Meditation Can Help Process Difficult Emotions

Even the most well adjusted people can have a hard time processing difficult emotions. Feelings like guilt, sadness, depression, and anger can be difficult to get a handle on. However, instead of pushing down your emotions only to have them resurface with a vengeance later, meditation helps you process and grapple with them in a healthy way.  Guided meditations give you a safe space to examine your emotions and help you understand where they are coming from.

Reduce Your Anxiety With This Guided Meditation Script

A Complete Guide to Mindfulness Meditations

We’ve created a guided meditation script to help you out during times of anxiety. Feel free to use this when your Spire tells you that you are feeling a bit tense, or when you can feel the tension in your body.

If scripts aren’t really your thing, you can access dozens of Spire’s Guided Mindfulness Meditations on Soundcloud.

Guided Meditation for Anxiety

Set aside a few minutes of your day where you won’t be disturbed. This could be during your lunch, after work, or right before bed.

Get into a position you will be comfortable for an extended period of time. This may be sitting down on a couch with your feet touching the floor, sitting on the floor with your legs crossed, or laying down with your head propped up. Do whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Close your eyes.

Notice your chest rising as you take in a breath, and feel the air enter your lungs. Then notice as your chest falls and the air exits your lungs. Take some time to feel this process happening. Feel the breath go in, and then go out.

Count ten breaths.

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Now you are tuned in to your breath.

As you breathe in, visualize the air you breath in as a white vapor. This vapor is full of energy and calm.

As you breathe out, visualize the air you push out of your lungs as a black fog. This fog is full of the stress, panic, and tension that has filled your body over time.

Breathe in to fill your lungs and your body with the white vapor. Feel the energy course through you as you breathe it in.

And as you breathe out, feel your stress and worries leave your body with the black fog. The tension in your body leaves with each exhale.

Breathe in and feel lighter, full of positive energy. Breathe out, feeling the stress exit through your nostrils.

Envision the white vapor coming from above. It drifts in from the sky into your nose as you inhale. This positive energy will revitalize you and give you the strength you need to face your day. Feel the vapor come into your body as you breathe in.

And as you breathe out, feel your exhale pull pain and stress from all over your body and push it out through your nose. Imagine the black fog going downwards and sinking into the ground. With each breath out, you exhale more and more stress and worry.

Repeat the inhale and the exhale as many times as you need. Don’t feel like you have to rush through this exercise. You can breathe in as much white vapor as you need, and breathe out as much black fog as you feel like is in your body.

Once you are ready, focus on different parts of your body. Take note of how they feel. Do you notice any places that have less tension than before? You might not be completely free of stress and worries, but that’s okay. You’ve still decreased the amount in your body, and that is something to be proud of.

Bring awareness to your body by moving bits at a time. Start with your toes, then your feet. Continue to your legs, then to your pelvis. Continue to your stomach, then your arms and shoulders.

When you feel like you have brought enough awareness to your body, open your eyes. Take your time to adjust to the world around you. It is common to feel somewhat disoriented after a meditation. There is no need to rush out of this state. Once you are ready, you can continue through your day, or relax into sleep.

End Meditation

Guided meditations can help all kinds of people in all sorts of situations. Whether your mind is prone to wandering or you don’t think you are able to meditate on your own, guided meditations are perfect for you. If you want to improve your mental or physical health, there are specific meditations you can try out to achieve your goals. There are hundreds of options for you to choose from, so don’t stop looking until you find what works for you.