While there are guided meditations that will help you relax, the ability to do so on your own gives you the power to:
- reduce stress quickly and easily,
- refresh your body when it becomes tired, and
- relax you body, quiet your mind and go to sleep quickly – whether at night, or when you want to take a quick power nap.
The key to relaxing on demand involves practice, of course, the use of triggers or key words or phrases, and a little bit of imagination.
For example, when I’m tired and need a quick energy boost, my trigger word is ‘melting’.
I find a spot to sit quietly with my eyes closed. Then starting with the top of my head, I imagine my muscles melting in deep relaxation as that feeling progresses down my body to the tip of my toes.
When I get to the tip of my toes I immerse myself in that feeling of deep relaxation for a long moment or two, and then stretch life back into my muscles.
It’s a short practice, no more than five minutes, but very powerful as it will keep you refreshed and alert for hours.
There are any number of ways you can start a relaxation practice. My introduction happened in my senior year of high school, in gym class of all places!
For some reason the teacher decided we needed to learn how to relax. She guided us through the process of relaxing our muscles starting with our feet and moving up through our bodies to the top of our heads.
Though there are guided meditations that will take you through the process in half-an-hour or even an hour, shorter ones can be just as effective. And they have the benefit of being short.
This is a guided meditation similar to the one my teacher taught. It takes about 15 minutes.
This is a very simple meditation to practice on your own as it moves systematically up your body. It’s a good practice to use when have difficulty sleeping at night, or want to take in a quick nap.
Also from YouTube comes this practice from Quiet Mind Cafe. This is not a whole body scan like the one above.
Instead they show you how to use trigger words, and teach you how to find and relax specific places in your body that are holding tension. Being able to quickly and easily reduce stress when you don’t have the time or the opportunity to find a quiet place is great for when you’re in the office, while at the dentist’s or doctor’s office, or even when someone’s put on hold.
Making It Work For You
Practice, triggers words or phrases, and a little imagination are really all it takes.
I find that using different trigger words for different practices helps, but there’s no reason you can’t use the same word or phrase for all three.
For my quick refresh practice, the word ‘melting’ induces deep relaxation very quickly.
When doing a whole body scan, the phrase is ‘letting go’.
To relax a specific place holding tension, I use the the word ‘breathe’ and imagine that with each breath I take, it breathes relaxation into that spot.
Play around with the trigger words and figure out which one, or which ones, work for you.
Then all you have to do is practice, and relax, of course.
Just remember to use good judgment when choosing the times and spots for doing your practices.
Wishing you all the best results with your relaxation practice.
You may also like some of the practices on the Quick and Easy meditation page.
To get your free copy of my 10 Tips to Outsmart Anxiety (Whatever the Situation) click here.