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3 Meditation Techniques for Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Posted by Sarah Jennings on

Anxiety, depression, stress, and loneliness are all part of the same cycle of afflictions that we allow to destroy us from the inside. Whether you are an elderly woman, retired and lonely in your condo, or the nervous guy in school that can't seem to find his way there are ways that you can help yourself find peace and relaxation with who you are. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and today has been blended with exercises such as yoga and Tai Chi. Here are a few of the best meditation techniques that can help you unwind from a horrible day or even become a healthy habit to boost your confidence, relieve stress, and find peace with who you are.

pranayama

1. Pranayama

A well-known yoga breathing exercise called the pranayama is a simple technique that can be done just about anywhere at any time. Make yourself comfortable, close your mouth and put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Begin breathing at a comfortable, natural rate out of your nose. Close your eyes and at the top of your inhale, hold it for three seconds and exhale fully until you feel you have emptied all of your breath. At the end of your exhale hold your breath again for three seconds. After three seconds, repeat the inhale process. Do this for up to five minutes. The point of this exercise is to clear your head and start from scratch mentally with something you are frustrated with or are forced to accept something out of your control.


2. Guided Meditation

There are many forms of guided meditation and all of them are very useful. Guided meditation is essentially imagery meditation. Get yourself comfortable either sitting or lying down on your back for this one. Many spiritual healers such as yoga instructors or even massage therapists record their own relaxation tapes with their chosen music in the background. In your case all that is necessary is to lie down and put on music that is soothing and calm to you. Close your eyes and forget all that is around you. Start out by visualizing the safest place in the world to you. Clear your mind and just see it. This place is always the best to start off at because it is a place where you feel the most control and freedom to be who you are. Once you are here, visualize yourself working towards and accomplishing a personal ambition that nobody that has afflicted you knows about. The idea is to eliminate their negative presence from your thoughts and to focus on what is important to you and to see any possibilities of accomplishing it. Do this anywhere from five minutes to a half hour, however long it takes you to find relief. This technique is great for those with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem.


3. Footsoaking

Footsoaking is known as a Sahaja Yoga meditation technique that many claim to have seen or heard of but never tried themselves. Fill a bowl big enough for both of your feet to completely submerge in. Salt is added to the water to represent the earth element and along with a scented candle, combines to bring the four main elements around you. Let your feet soak in the water for ten to fifteen minutes while either visualizing or just monitoring your breathing. You ever notice that your body feels cold if your feet are hanging out from under the covers while your entire body is covered? The feet are some of our most powerful sensory receptors and can drastically affect the chemistry in our body above. People who regularly do this technique have reported better sleep and overall better relaxation. Think of it as a miniature hot tub that only gets your feet wet but relaxes your mind just the same.

Sarah Jennings has been taking care of others her whole life. She specializes in counseling the elderly depressed in assisted living homes. She uses her personal experience to share with others about improving their quality of life and find peace. She currently writes on behalf of Brookdale Assisted Living.