A Destress Meditation: Pause. Breathe. Check-In With Yourself

We live in a busy culture, where success is often measured by how busy we are, how much we hustle, how many things we can multi-task, how much we work and so forth. Then, add to all this busyness the pings and dings of email, mobile phone and social media. It is no wonder for many of us we are stressed, overwhelmed, tired and distracted.

Time has become a resource that many of us don’t have enough of. As we race around our day trying to catch up or keep on top of everything, we tend to breathe fast or irregular, get stressed and get overwhelmed. It is only natural that this leads to some form of stress, anxiety, and difficulties focusing.

How we feel daily comes in ebbs and flows, and that is entirely normal. But all too often, when we are not feeling great or are not on our A-game, we panic, beat ourselves up, and ultimately drive up our stress levels, which only make things worse. But instead of panicking, we need to be more accepting. Acknowledge that we are not on our A-game today. Then pause, breathe and become present. We need to be ok with not being our best on the day.

Accepting how you feel will reduce its emotional impact on you, resulting in less stress, overwhelm, fatigue, and anxiety. Make it a daily ritual to check in with yourself, process the emotions, breathe through them and then just let them go.

Giving yourself 5-10 minutes a day to relax will help you accept when things aren’t perfect, and it will give you a different metric for success (one that supports joy rather than perfection).

Join me now for a meditation where we release worries, get a fresh perspective and feel calmer and more joyful in just 10 minutes.

[Script}

To begin. Take a moment to settle in.

Find yourself a comfortable position either sitting up or laying down.

Relax your shoulders and do whatever you need to get comfortable.

Close your eyes.

Relax your forehead, cheeks and jaw.

Connect with the natural rhythm of you breath.

You not trying to change your breathing – just become aware of your breath.

Focusing on your breath allow yourself to settle into the stillness. When your mind wanders to thoughts, or is distracted by any background noises, bring your attention back to the easy, natural rhythm of your breathing.

Let the breathe soften and quieten the mind,  allow your body to soften and release. Let go of tension and stress.

Don’t try to control your breath. For now, simply observe it. Fast or slow, shallow or deep, the nature of the breath does not matter. Your full attention to it is what counts.

Breathing mindfully. Becoming anchored within the present moment. Settle into the stillness.

Take a moment to check in with yourself. How are you feeling: Insecure? Excited? Overwhelmed? A Little Flat? Stressed? Anxious? Heartbroken? Angry? Sad?

You don’t have to do anything in this moment except breathe and acknowledge how you are feeling. You are just simply checking in with yourself.

By acknowledging your emotion, you are able to process what is going on for you and as you do this you release the intensity of the emotional hold it has on you in this moment.

Your mind feels a little clearer and a little calmer as you acknowledge and let go just a little.

Breathing in deeply - exhaling completely.

Notice the breath coming in, and the breath going out. Follow the breath with your awareness… follow the breath all the way in… and follow the breath all the way out… not trying to change it in any way.

Just breathing in… and breathing out.

Take note of what is happening to your body as you breathe. Does your stomach rise? Or does your upper chest rise?

If your stomach rises and your chest stays relatively flat, you are breathing properly. If your stomach barely moves and your chest rises, then your breathing too shallow.  

Together we are going to take a few long deep breathes in.

To begin keep your awareness on your breath. Place your hands on your stomach. Breathe in through your nose, inhaling slowly to the count of five.

As you inhale visualise the breath travelling slowly down into your belly and filling up a balloon. You’re blowing up the balloon with your breath. Your belly should rise as it fills with air.

Now exhale slowly through either your nose or mouth for a count of five. Let the breath slowly travel up and out. Bit by bit. As you do this visualise the balloon is shrinking. Your belly should fall with the exhale.

We are going to take the next 2 minutes for some slow, smooth breaths. This is going to calm your stress response and activate your rest and relax system.

Inhale slowly for 5 counts, filling up the balloon.

Exhale slowly for 5 counts, the balloon is shrinking

For the next two minutes you are going to continue with this deep belly breathing.

With each breath you take you are falling deeper and deeper into relaxation.

On the inhale visualise breathing in positivity, energy, love and light.

On the exhale allow any thoughts or emotions to simply dissolve away.

With each breath you are feeling lighter. Your mind is calmer. You feel good.

Taking in another deep nourishing breath take a moment to focus on something small that you are grateful for today. It could have been your morning coffee, the orange you ate, your loved ones, your health, the tree outside your window.

Breathe in deeply - breath in gratitude and love.

Exhaling completely - Release negativity, tension and stress.

Rest in this space of gratitude for the next few breaths.

Allow a sensation of peace, calm and gratitude to fill you from head to toe.

Know that you can return to this place at any time you choose.

Taking in a deep loving and nurturing breath. Bring your awareness back into your body and the room that surrounds you. Bring some gentle movement back into your body by wiggling your fingers and toes. Allow the soft curve of a gentle smile to fall on your lips.

Say thank you to yourself for prioritising a few moments of self-care today. Softly open your eyes.

Thank you for joining me for another meditation, Sit quietly for a few moments to reflect on the experience you had during this meditation. You may even like to journal on the experience.

Come back to this meditation whenever you need to create a loving space for yourself. Till next time. May you live your life with ease. Namaste

 

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.

Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

― Patanjali