September 10, 2016 at 3:29 am #114812
Either one or both of these simple yet effective breathing techniques can be done for its varied list of benefits mentioned below.
Both the below breathing techniques can be used if you are not able to sleep, feeling stressed, struggling with panic attacks, having difficulty concentrating or focusing, feeling agitated or anxious or frustrated, fear of something, suffering from anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, need clarity of mind, want to take your mind off of your immediate concerns. These enhance rest and relaxation, encourage a calmer emotional state, center the mind, restore imbalances in the brain, boost your thinking, pacify your nervous system and have several other mental-emotional benefits.
1) The 7-11 Breathing Technique:
One of the most powerful breathing techniques that can be used for lowering anxiety, stress or any other kind of emotional arousal as well as unwanted mental activity is the 7-11 Breathing Technique.
By keeping it short and simple here is how it works. There are two kinds of systems viz; the Parasympathetic Nervous System and the Sympathetic Nervous System. Sympathetic Nervous System is responsible for activation of an arousal response or the “fight”, “flight” or “freeze”. And the Parasympathetic Nervous System is simply the opposite of that. If our outbreath is more than the inbreath then we stimulate our relaxation response ie; the Parasympathetic Nervous System.
1. breathe in for a count of 7
2. breathe out for a count of 11
It’s just that simple. Here the breathing should be an abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing.
A way to identify if you are doing abdominal breathing or not-
– Hold one hand on your chest.
– Hold the other hand on the stomach or the abdomen (do an image search on the web if you want to actually “see” where they are located on the body.)
– When you inhale through your nose, you should inhale into your abdomen, such that the hand on your stomach moves upward while the hand on your chest remains as still as possible.
– Both the inhale and the exhale should be through the nose and not through the mouth.
If you find it inconvenient to count to 11 or 7, then reduce the count to breathe for 3 and 5, or any other number that suits exactly as per your comfort level. Just make sure that the out-breath is longer than the in-breath by a few numbers. In my case, for this to work, I had to increase the count to 11 and 15 because of the reason that I tend to take long deep breaths.
2) Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Alternate Nostril Breathing also known as Nadi Shodhana, is a powerful breathing practice with extensive reaching benefits. Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘channel’ or ‘flow’ which is the subtle energy channel and Shodhana means ‘purification.’ This simple yet powerful technique settles the mind, body, and emotions. You can use it to quiet your mind and it is particularly helpful to slow down racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep. It’s a wonderful breathing technique that helps keep the mind calm, enables to be happy, peaceful and cheerful by practicing it just for a few minutes. It also helps release accumulated stress, tension and fatigue.
Step 1: Use right thumb to close right nostril
Step 2: Inhale slowly through left nostril
Step 3: Pause at the top of the inhale for a second or two as per your comfort level
Step 4: Now close left nostril with ring finger. Release the thumb off the right nostril
Step 5: Exhale through your right nostril
Step 6: Now, inhale through right nostril
Step 7: Pause at the top of the inhale for a second or two as per your comfort level
Step 8: Use thumb to close of right nostril
Step 9: Breathe out through left nostril
Steps 1 to 9 make one round. Continue with the steps for 3 to 5 minutes. You can do this even while lying down on your bed.
Make sure to not force the breathing and do not breathe through the mouth. You can skip the pausing of breath if you have blood pressure issues.
Do one or both of the above exercises for 3 to 5 minutes, or longer if you feel comfortable.
Close your eyes and allow the relaxation to happen by itself by sitting quietly for a few moments after you have finished.
Happy Relaxing! 🙂September 10, 2016 at 3:47 am #114816September 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm #114978
We all know that controlling the mind is not really possible. The less we try to think of something, the stronger it will get. The mind does a constant interpretation of the things we experience; the experiences that are going on externally or even the ones going on internally in our head. We can’t stop the mind from stirring up thoughts, it is what the mind does. That’s its job. Thoughts will come, but what we can do is to stop getting onto ‘the train of thoughts’. Notice the difference between ‘thoughts’ and ‘thinking’. It feels like ‘thoughts’ come by themselves from nowhere, but ‘thinking’ is a choice. Thinking starts when thoughts go unobserved. You can either be thinking OR be aware of your thinking but not both at the same time. Your job is to become the awareness behind the thinking. A thought comes up but you don’t need to follow wherever it takes you. Don’t analyze your interpretation or connect it to a memory. Allow the thought to come and let it pass by. Just imagine how we swipe between the screens on a smartphone – Next -> Next -> Next. Swipe the thoughts on the screen of your mind.
In Zen, meditation is not trying to get into some sort of trance. It is not daydreaming or to stop thinking. Neither should you try to control your mind. Zazen (a Zen meditation) is to practice to experience directly. To not pass judgement or analyze your sensorial experiences and thoughts. For that is all they are- just your senses being triggered. It is not reality itself. Just sit and let the thoughts/images in your head pass by. Thoughts may come but you will not follow them.
Before starting with the below meditation techniques, if there is a lot of mental/emotional activity going on with you then do the breathing exercises mentioned above at first. (http://tinybuddha.com/topic/relaxation-meditation-techniques/#post-114812)
1) Counting you thoughts exercise:
– Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes
– For the next few minutes relax yourself and begin to watch your mind
– Stay in ‘alert stillness’ and simply notice the thoughts as they appear on the screen of your mind
– Begin to count the thoughts as they arise
– Any single judging, labeling, interpreting on the thoughts that arise are again thoughts. So count them too. Be alert of the next scene/thought that is going to come on your mind. Any single ‘scene’ wherever your mind takes you is a thought to be counted too.
Don’t try to stop any thought, ‘allow’ it to come. Your job is to only count that.
Do this for a few minutes, maybe 1 or 2, or continue if you are able to.
Note down the count of thoughts. Keep doing this practice regularly and see the change in the numbers. You will notice that the count of thoughts per minute will have been reduced. If, at a later stage, it takes a long time for a thought to come up then you are on the right track.
This simple act of being alert and mindful of your thoughts will itself slow down your mental activity giving a feeling of increased sense of peace and calmness, a sense of being present. This happens because, when you are counting the thoughts you are no more getting pulled onto those thoughts. You have become aware of a thought by counting it.
2) Count the breath exercise:
– Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes
– Move your attention to your breath
– Feel where you experience your breath the most. Is it in your nose, your throat, your belly, or may be even in your chest? Each one of us will feel the breath at different places.
– Say for example it’s in your chest region. Focus here and imagine the air flowing in and out.
– It’s now time to start counting- 1 with each inhalation, 2 with the first exhalation, 3 with the second inhalation. Keep counting until you reach 10. If you lose count because of any thoughts don’t get frustrated or think that you can’t do this. Just start with 1 and continue until you reach 10.
If you cannot count 1 for the inhalation and 2 for the exhalation, then count 1 for a complete cycle of an inhalation-exhalation and then 2 for the next set of inhalation-exhalation.
Practice this technique. Once you start to get comfortable reaching 10, gradually increase the count to 20, 30 and so on.
After you’ve got some experience with this type of meditation you can try to stop counting and just focus on the movement of your breath. Then you’re really ‘just sitting’ and ‘simply allowing’ the flow of life to happen mentally. If the flow of life happens mentally ‘as is’ then what’s going on externally will hardly bother you.
The techniques on this page are a follow-on of it’s original thread at http://tinybuddha.com/topic/share-your-technique. Any one-to-one conversations that you want to do can be done on that thread and if you have a technique that you do in your daily life then please share them here. Thanks.October 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm #118905sherry sageParticipant
For tension relief I find my keyboard or pen the best release. Writing is very meditative for me.
1. Write by hand about what is creating tension.
Don’t edit; don’t censor; just write.
2. Go to a warm place like your bed, or even take a hot bath (I tape my page to the tiles) and Read it.
To yourself, or out loud if possible.
3. Afterwards, destroy the paper.
Tear it up, shred it, or if so inclined you could even burn it.
Hope this helps someone today!October 26, 2016 at 3:13 am #118942
It’s nice to see your own method of releasing for tension relief. Thanks.
Yes this post of yours is definitely going to be read and practiced by somebody on the planet.
For spreading more such wonderful tips and techniques I encourage more and more people who come across this post to go ahead and comment your own technique on this thread. It will definitely benefit someone looking for something exactly like what you have posted.
It could be something as simple as counting from 1 to 10 when you are angry or upset or something about your own way of practicing mindfullness. Just make sure that it is clear enough for the reader to be understandable by simply reading it and starting with the practice.
Thank you once again!
VJDecember 1, 2016 at 3:17 am #121654Kate B. ForsythParticipant
1. Meditate – It’s simple. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting — out loud or silently – a positive mantra such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.”
2. Breathe Deeply – Close your eyes with hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head
3. Be Present – Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.
4. Reach Out – Connect with your friends, share ideas and how you feel it can make you feel better.
5. Tune In to Your Body – Mentally scan your body to get a sense of how stress affects it each day
6. Decompress – Place a warm heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes. Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest, and back muscles.
7. Laugh Out Loud – It lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and boosts brain chemicals called endorphins, which help your mood.
8. Crank Up the Tunes – Listening to music is a good relaxation technique
9. Get Moving – having exercise regularly can release stress and make you feel better
10. Be Grateful – Being grateful for your blessings cancels out negative thoughts and worries
Practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:
– Slowing your heart rate
– Lowering blood pressure
– Slowing your breathing rate
– Reducing activity of stress hormones
– Increasing blood flow to major muscles
– Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
– Improving concentration and mood
– Lowering fatigue
– Reducing anger and frustration
– Boosting confidence to handle problems
You should do these relaxation techniques in a quiet environment and comfortable position.December 1, 2016 at 3:58 am #121661Nina SakuraParticipant
I really find nadishodi very effective. Even Kapal Bhatti is good although little challenging for me.
What do you think of survya namaskar rounds?
NinaDecember 1, 2016 at 6:21 am #121666
Nice to know that you are finding Nadishodhana effective. It feels really very peaceful while and after doing it.
True, Kapalbhati Pranayam is even more effective. Just make sure to do it on a clear stomach when there is not much food in it.
This video of Baba Ramdevji from India will help explain in doing the procedure. If you do not understand the Hindi language then the text right below the video is the exact English translation of it.
Oh yes when it comes to Yogasanas and Pranayam how can we not make a mention about Surya Namaskara or the Sun Salutation. It is said to be a complete body workout. If you have any back related issues then it is better to avoid it since it involves both forward and backward bending postures, otherwise its a great exercise routine.
Happy and Healthy You!
VJDecember 22, 2016 at 6:45 pm #123341
Inner Body Awareness
Excerpt – The Power of Now ~Eckhart Tolle
When you are unoccupied for a few minutes, and especially last thing at night before falling asleep and first thing in the morning before getting up, “flood” your body with consciousness.
Close your eyes.
Lie flat on your back.
Choose different parts of your body to focus your attention on briefly at first: hands, feet, arms, legs, abdomen, chest, head, and so on. Feel the life energy inside those parts as intensely as you can.
Stay with each part for fifteen seconds or so. Then let your attention run through the body like a wave a few times, from feet to head and back again.
This need only take a minute or so. After that, feel the inner body in its totality, as a single field of energy. Hold that feeling for a few minutes.
Be intensely present during that time, present in every cell of your body. Don’t be concerned if the mind occasionally succeeds in drawing your attention out of the body and you lose yourself in some thought. As soon as you notice that this has happened, just return your attention to the inner body.December 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm #123342
Excerpt – A New Earth ~Eckhart Tolle
Be aware of your breathing.
Notice the sensation of the breath. Feel the air moving in and out of your body.
Notice how the chest and abdomen expand and contract slightly with the in- and outbreath.
One conscious breath is enough to make some space where before there was the uninterrupted succession of one thought after another. One conscious breath (two or three would be even better), taken many times a day, is an excellent way of bringing space into your life.December 27, 2016 at 9:59 pm #123768donParticipant
I use the Laxman Light and Sound Mind machine that I have purchased from the Neurotronics website (mylaxman.com) to meditate, relax and alleviate stress after a long hard day at work. Mind machines are a beneficial high tech way to control your mind and mood using light and sound to entrain your brainwaves. The Laxman is one of the most advanced audio-visual stimulation devices available. The Laxman offers the ultimate in relaxation and it is highly effective. Different sessions are designed to enhance relaxation, learning, sleep and creative visualisation.
December 28, 2016 at 9:33 pm #123869helennParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by don.
Great thread, thanks for sharing so much information..February 25, 2017 at 8:24 pm #129443
Here is an excellent resource for Meditation.
This channel has everything right from waking up in the morning to feeling charged up during the day till the end of day for a peaceful sleep.
This channel also has a varied list of guided meditations. For anyone having trouble meditating can simply follow Rick Clarke’s soothing voice in the guided meditations, or simply listen to any of the non-guided meditations.
[Make sure to click on ‘Show More’ under each category]
Try listening to this one before going to bed tonight.
Lots of Blessings and Best Wishes to ‘The Honest Guys’
April 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm #144999MerriegoldParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by VJ.
Hello everyone..I never tried Yoga before but I have interest of doing it. Thank you for sharing your technique and ideas. I will definitely follow and looking forward for the positive result.August 30, 2017 at 7:57 am #166218KrissiParticipant
Some of the energy drinks like Happy Shotz will also help for relaxation.