I am sure we all know at least one person in our network who had to take a sick leave due to stress. In fact, according to the Governmental Institute for Public Health, almost 19 % of the Danish population felt they were stressed in 2021. It explains the reason there is such a high focus on mental well-being. We are overwhelmed and need help to restore our mental and emotional health.
So what is stress actually? It’s the brain and body going into survival mode as it believes you are in great danger (no kidding here). As our flight-or-fight mode was meant for occasional stress when we are in this mode over a long period the brain and hormonal organs start to exhaust themselves to keep you going.
A stressed brain also cannot fully restore and rejuvenate itself through the lower brain frequencies such as alpha, theta and delta waves, which are states that we naturally enter during relaxation and sleep.
Becoming stress-free is a way of living and it is certainly not enough to do occasional meditations to be free from it. The 5 steps to soothe your mind might sound too simplistic, but that’s the whole point! It is not meant to overwhelm you!
If you are severely stressed you should seek professional advice! Developing a meditation practice with the help of a meditation teacher can also be very valuable, especially if you feel resistance and if you have emotional issues coming up to the surface.
Here are the 5 steps to soothe your mind and body and release stress:
- Start with sitting in a comfortable position with your feet grounded. Then close your eyes and start to settle into your body. You can gently focus on your breath, or feel the floor underneath your feet. The main focus is to ground you. Take a minute or two to do this.
- Send your attention down to your heart space, you can even touch your heart lightly with the right hand. Imagine your heart is engulfed in a luminescent light and that this light is going to soothe every tissue, organ and cell it touches.
- Imagine this light growing outward slowly from the center of your heart until it is covering every cell of your body from head to toe. Feel a sensation of relaxation when this happens. Imagine that the light dissolves the tension in each cell, relaxing it, making it more fluid and vibrant and healthy.
- Stay in this space and mentally go through any spot or area that needs special attention. Go to that place with your light and release the tension with it. Feel the relaxing sensation when the tension dissolves.
- When you have attended any special area feel the sensation of lightness growing in your body. The more tension you release the lighter you feel. Stay in this space for as long as you like. If it is bedtime, you can go directly to sleep from this state. If not, then slowly bring back your attention to your fingers and toes and open your eyes. Take a moment to feel the difference in your body before and after this meditation.
It might take time for the brain and body to fully take this experience in. Be gentle to yourself, the more you practice the more soothing effect it will have.
By immersing yourself in any kind of meditation or meditative activity, the brain will shift to lower brainwaves, which is extremely healing and beneficial for your mind and body. One very common way of inducing these lower brain waves is to listen to binaural meditation music.
You can find tons of free videos on youtube, like the one linked below, or purchase from renowned companies such as The Silva Method or Mindvalley, they have many resources and products if you want to explore it.