Try meditating to beat stress and anxiety

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Way before the pandemic started, stress and anxiety have been around for a long time.

People from the past may have led simpler lives, but that doesn’t mean the absence from pressure. That is why meditation is said to have originated from around 1500 BCE in India.

All of us cope with stress differently. For some, it may be engaging in a physically exhausting activity and just sleeping it off. While for others, maybe it is to draw away from the crowd to find some quiet time.

If that is you, how do you spend your quiet time? Do you tend to overthink things and get more anxious with every passing minute? Perhaps you have heard of meditation but haven’t gotten started yet. The good thing is that it’s not that difficult to begin.

“You don’t need equipment, you can do it from your home, you don’t need anyone else,” said Luke McLeod, the founder and teacher at Soul Alive. Ready to kickstart your journey to relaxation? Allow us to share with you these five simple steps.

#1: Find your safe space

While your home can be the quickest place to get started on meditation, it’s not the only option. This is the case especially with noisy neighbours or crying kids at home. But wherever that safe space might be, put on your noise-cancelling earbuds with meditation music and close your eyes to relax.

#2: Release tension

Tension and relaxation aren’t best friends. Peeps who find it hard to keep your eyes closed, it’s time to release stress from your body. If you’re lying down on a mat, you can do so by rolling your shoulders back and turning your head from side to side slowly.

#3: Focus on breathing
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The idea here is to take three rounds of long and deep breaths. The cycle can start with a steady rush of air to your lungs for eight counts. Then, hold your breath for another eight counts before releasing it for another eight.

After you’re done with the three rounds, breathe normally. Now’s the time to focus on your next breathing exercise. By that, we mean every slight minor sensation from the moment the air enters your nostrils to the temperature change as it goes into your lungs. Feel your belly expand and repeat this routine eight times.

#4: Shift your focus

As you continue to breathe normally after the previous routine, shift your focus from your breathing to the different parts of your body.

You can start introducing energy to your body by wiggling your toes, contracting your calve muscles, and your butt. Then begin to move your fingers, shoulders, and turn your head from side to side to warm up your neck.

#5: Take time to be thankful

Your body should be recharged as we enter the final stage. But before you get up and go about your daily routine, take time to be thankful. With your eyes still closed, think of someone or something you are grateful for.

Put on a smile as you slowly open your eyes. If you’re lying down, roll to your left side and place your right hand on the floor as you push yourself up with the help of your left elbow. Lefties can feel free to roll onto their right side.

Take a little stretch before you get moving, and remember to schedule your next meditation session!

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