Relaxation meditation, also known as guided meditation relaxation, is one of the most beneficial forms of meditation mankind has ever seen. Millions of people all around the world practice relaxing meditation on a regular basis and are reaping its benefits.
If you want to know more about this type of meditation and you are in for the ride of your life in the world of meditation, hop in and enjoy a unique trip that will change your life.
The History of Meditation Relaxation
The history of meditation for relaxation is long, deep and illustrious. This ancient practice stretches over millennia and it’s considered one of the oldest forms of connection with the divine, after what Adam and Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden.
When it comes to the history, there are four important things you need to know:
- The Exact Birth Date of Meditation is Unknown
No researcher or historic figure was able to pinpoint the exact date when meditation was first used. However, most scholars agree that meditation was first born at least 5000 years ago. Some are bold enough to say that this practice was first used by Cain who was banished away from the face of God by committing the first murder in the history of mankind by killing Abel.
However, this theory can’t be proven. Instead, researchers have found ancient drawings that date as back as 3000 B.C. that shows hunters practicing yoga. These primitive ancestors of ours went from India to South America and North America. When discovering America, Columbus noticed that the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs were extremely evolved in practicing meditation and the number of meditation practices they were performing was astounding.
Even though the exact date of this type of meditation is unknown, we can state that it started in India and China 4 to 5 millennia ago.
- Buddha Changed Everything
The unique history of meditation is strongly connected to Buddha. His teachings have been around until 500 BC, and have radically changed the way we see meditation today.
- For Thousands of Years This Practice Was Mainly an Asian Cultural Habit
Even though ancient civilizations were practicing meditation, when Europeans arrived they wiped out every trace of history, implementing their culture and habits. That’s how the Asian culture was the only beneficiary of relaxation meditation.
Meditation started to appear in Europe and the US at the end of the 20th century due to the development of transportation. After over a century now, this technique has been promoted vastly thanks to the internet, mass media and due to the development of business airlines.
- Meditation is now Popular Worldwide
As said, thanks to the evolution of the internet and mass media communication, coupled with the development of transport airlines, this practice is now available to billions of people from all around the world. Today, practically anybody with an internet connection can reap the benefits of relaxation meditation.
Why Relaxation Meditation?
For most of us, relaxing means turning off our cell phones and simply dozing off in front of our favorite TV show or sports channel. Unfortunately, this does little to diminish the damaging effects of stress. In order to effectively combat stress and reverse its negative effects on your body, you need to take the big guns in your arsenal. Those are relaxation meditation techniques.
You can relieve stress by practicing deep relaxation meditation techniques, such as rhythmic exercise, deep breathing and yoga. By fitting these activities into your daily life enables you to reduce your everyday stress to a minimum and boost your mood substantially.
Understanding How Stress Works
When stress overwhelms you, your nervous system is the first one to be affected. All the negative thoughts from the day combined with lack of sleep and hunger can make your body feel totally repulsive against any external factors. That’s why when you get home after work it is wise not to talk to your spouse for at least an hour.
The stress is definitely negative and tends to impact your life negatively. Because none of us can avoid stress, we need to do something to counteract it. Your response to stress is what can make you enjoy a much better life, with more accomplishments, higher peace and increased joy.
When your response to stress is adequate, you enjoy:
– A decrease heart rate
– A stabilized blood pressure
– Deeper and slower breath
– Muscle relaxation
– Your body begins to heal
In addition to these calming effects, your body enjoys an increased amount of energy and you become more capable to solve problems.
Too much stress places a huge amount of strain on your body, making you to get trapped into a downward spiral. In order to avoid getting caught in this spiral, you need to reach a state of homeostasis, which can only be acquired by practicing relaxation meditation regularly.
Choosing to Respond Appropriately to Stress
You can use a wide variety of relaxation techniques in order to bring your nervous system back into balance. Your relaxation response should not be to lie down on the couch or dozing off, but using an active process that leaves your body calm, relaxed and focused.
To respond appropriately to stressful factors, you need to find the correlation between meditation and relaxation. This means learning the basics of relaxation meditation.
Learning the basics of meditation for relaxation is not such a daunting task. All it takes is a little practice and some basic information and tips. Specialists recommend around meditation practitioners to set aside between 10 and 20 minutes for this practice every day. In case you need more stress relief, aim for 30 or even 40 minutes.
Choosing the Right Relaxation Meditation Technique for you
There is no solitary relaxation technique that works just for one person. Each technique is specially designed to cater to the needs of a certain group of people. Additionally, one person can choose to practice several relaxation meditation techniques.
When choosing the right relaxation meditation technique for you, it is important to consider your specific preferences, needs, desires, goals and fitness aims. The best technique for you is the one that resonates with your lifestyle and helps you stay in control of your daily thoughts. In most of the cases, you might find that combining two or more techniques provide you with the best results.
In order to choose the best relaxation techniques for you, it is useful to look at how you react to stress. Every single one of us reacts differently. Here are three responses people can have to stress.
- The Flight Response: if you tend to get withdrawn, depressed, and you want just to be left alone when under stressful conditions, it means you are having a “flight response”. If that’s you, then you should choose relaxation meditation practices combined with relaxing meditation music that energizes and stimulates your nervous system. These practices include massage, rhythmic exercise, power yoga and active mindfulness.
- The Fight Response: this is another type of response people can have to external stressors. If you tend to become agitated, angry, anxious and even mad, you might need to respond with peaceful and calm relaxation techniques that can quiet you. Some of the options you have include progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, guided imagery and deep breathing.
- The Immobilization Response: some people who have experienced certain kinds of trauma tend to get stuck or freeze under heavy stress. If that’s you, the first thing you need to do is to rouse your nervous system and choose one of the two responses listed above. To do this, start by doing some physical activity that engages your whole body, such as dancing, running on the treadmill, jumping up and down, and the list goes on.
After you begin to get out of the freeze response, you will be able to choose either a flight or fight response, and employ the necessary stress relief meditation techniques that apply to that specific stress response.
Making Relaxation Meditation a Part of your Life
The easiest way to capitalize on all the unique benefits of relaxation meditation is to incorporate this practice into your daily routine. Even though sometimes it might seem impossible to find time in your busy schedule, the good news is that many meditation for relaxation techniques can be practiced while you are doing other stuff.
For instance, you can meditate while waiting for the bus to come or while waiting for your business partner to arrive at the appointment. You can try deep breathing while doing your homework or while watching your favorite TV show. Once you have mastered certain techniques, you can practice them anywhere.
For instance, once you master the tai chi practice, you can perform it in the park, when walking your dog, or at lunchtime. Here are four tips to help you make relaxation techniques a part of your life.
- Do not Practice when you are Sleepy or Very Tired
Relaxation meditation is specially made to help you relax. This means that when you are already tired or sleepy, you won’t be able to last more than 3 minutes meditating until falling asleep. You will get the most benefit out of this practice when you are alert and fully awake.
Never practice relaxation meditation while using drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Moreover, try not to practice it after eating a hearty meal.
- Make your Schedule Around this Practice
If possible, schedule a time each day for meditation. You will find that it’s easier to stick to this practice when you set a certain time for it in the previous day.
- Adopt Mindfulness
One of the surest ways to improve the relaxation benefits of relaxation meditation is to use mindfulness. In other words, instead of watching TV or focusing on external objects, try to focus your attention to your body. Focus on coordinating your body movements with your mind and vice versa.
Pay attention to how you feel when practicing meditation and try to be open to both positive and negative feelings which you might have.
- Expect Both Ups and Downs
In case you skip a few days and you are unable to feel or experience all the benefits of relaxing meditation, do not worry. It’s all normal. We are not robots to do everything perfect. Just start listening to some great relaxation meditation music and look at the bright side of things.
Benefits of Relaxation Meditation
A well crafted guided meditation session comes with huge benefits for both your mind and body. Meditation can balance your life and give you a sense of calm and security you’ve never got to experience before. Best of all, the benefits of relaxation meditation do not end when you stop practicing this habit. Instead, they continue to become a consistent part of your life.
Here are some of the most notable benefits of meditation for relaxation:
– Enjoy an increased clarity in life: when you meditate regularly, you discover your purpose in life easier and you find out exactly what you were created for.
– Develop your spiritual life: some forms of meditation allow you to connect to a higher power, which can greatly develop your spiritual life.
– Enjoy an enhanced creativity: meditation goes hand in hand with creativity.
– Faster emotional and physical healing: in case you have a medical condition that is worsened by stress, you might find that meditation is extremely helpful for you. Researchers suggest that meditation helps prevent and treat cancer, heart disease, anxiety disorders, pain, high blood pressure and sleep problems.
– Increased self-awareness and reduced negative emotions, while focusing on the present: when meditating, you are actually clearing away all the information overload that builds up in time and leads to an increase in the level of stress you have.
– Improve performance at the workplace, at school and at sports: numerous studies suggest that people who meditate on a daily basis have more success in business and in other aspects of personal life. Additionally, children who meditate get better marks at school and have much better overall results.