16 Simple Meditation Techniques For Stress Relief You Can Rely On
There are 16 simple meditation techniques for stress relief that are natural, fast and easy.
Do you wish you could wake up and know that would get through the day without stress? Wish you could completely stop anxiety? [If so, read my guide to using meditation for anxiety relief].
You are not alone. Stress is the biggest health problem in the world today.
- 77% of people experience physical symptoms of stress
- 73% experience psychological effects of stress
- 30% of people say they are always under constant stress at work . And most companies do not do enough to combat it (though some enlightened corporations have started teaching yoga at work
- 48% of people believe stress is getting worse.
- And let’s be honest there is plenty of stress at home too.
Good news: there are some excellent and simple meditation techniques for stress relief that can stop the problem fast, naturally and easily.
Let’s take a look.
16 Simple Meditation Techniques For Stress Relief
1. For starters, you can use practically any meditation technique for stress relief
- Do it now with my guide to 31 meditations
The scientific research proves it. Meditation stops stress.
If you are one of the three quarters of people in the world who suffer from stress, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start using some simple meditation techniques for stress relief.
Make “Om” your mantra for life. Because meditation will stop stress for good.
In a moment I’ll share some specific meditation techniques for stress relief. But the good news is: you can use virtually any meditation you like.
There are so many reasons to start using meditation for stress:
- Meditation helps the heart and regulates blood pressure
- Meditation creates inner peace and quiet (less thoughts)
- Meditation focuses your mind so you can think when you’re stressed.
- Meditation stops headaches that are caused by stress.
There are many simple meditation techniques for stress relief, including the famous Transcendental Meditation technique.
But why should you use meditation for stress relief?
Meditation slows down and quiets the mind.
It stops the tidal wave of thoughts.
The reason we suffer from stress is because we allow all manner of thoughts to get on our minds.
We fill our minds with doubts, fears, worries about the future, regrets about the past. It can be extremely difficult to find release from these thoughts.
When we practice mindfulness for stress, we focus absolutely on one relaxing thing. For instance we can focus on the breath. The simple act of focusing the mind on one thing creates mental space.
If you have ever felt like your head is too full of thoughts, like there is no space to think, meditate.
Bear in mind that meditation also helps helps panic attacks.
There are lots of other simple meditation techniques for stress relief too. I’ll share the best of them in just a moment.
2. Mudra For Stress Relief
This is a kind of meditation for stress relief that uses the hands.
A mudra is a specific hand position that is used in spiritual practices like Buddhism, Hinduism and yoga.
Science shows that specific hand and finger positions create changes in the brain (similar to accupuncture).
Mudras are hand positions that we can use to create psychological and physical effects.
The best mudra for stress is called the “Tse” mudra.
To do the Tse mudra position, we clean the fist then open it. This teaches the mind to let go of tension in the body.
To try this, read my guide to the Tse mudra.
3. Mantra Meditation Technique For Stress Relief
Mantras are similar to affirmations. They are repeated words or phrases that have psychological effects. These are one of the best meditation techniques for stress relief for 2 reasons. Firstly, humming naturally reduces stress (seriously, try humming right now, it will reduce your stress). And secondly, mantras make it easier to meditate because they give you something to focus on.
There are mantras from all different religions. And there are plain-language mantras too.
Good examples of English mantras for stress are:
- “I am relaxing and flowing”
- “I am calm and happy”
- “I let go of stress and feel free”
These are simple English mantras for stress–affirmations, basically.
There are more powerful spiritual mantras too.
4: Yoga for stress relief
Okay, so this isn’t technically a meditation technique for stress relief. Yoga does help too though.
Considerable scientific research has shown that yoga stops stress. What’s more: Yoga helps trauma survivors.
By stretching the body and focusing the mind, yoga alleviates both the psychological and physiological symptoms of stress.
Some yoga asana (poses) are better for stress than others.
Some of the best yoga poses for stress include:
- Sasasana (corpse pose)
- Pigeon Pose
- Uttanasana (standing forward bend)
- Half Baddha Kosana (Half Bound Ankle Pose)
For a more fun way of stopping stress, why not try one of the (slightly crazy) alternative forms of yoga.
5. The most simple meditation for stress relief is just to start being mindful
Buddhist wisdom teaches us to live in the moment. And indeed, living in the moment stops stress.
This is sort of like an easy meditation technique for stress relief.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of the stress in your life is caused by too much thinking and worrying, often about the past or future?
When we focus the mind on the present moment we stop worrying about the past and the future, and this stops stress. 
Live now. Don’t dwell on the past or the future. Let that all go. Live mindfully. Focus your mind on the present moment.
There is a famous Buddha quote:
[bctt tweet=” Do not dwell in the past. Do now dream of the future. Focus the mind on the present moment—Buddha ” username=”t_d_meditation”]
Scientific research has shown that practicing mindfulness for 20 minutes a day is extremely beneficial to your health.
It cures stress.
It ends depression.
It boosts happiness levels.
And it only takes twenty minutes.
“DROWNING IN THE WAVES”
Ride the waves
(A Buddhist poem on stress)
So completely does life’s current hold us
In the tide of its chaotic mercy,
Ceaselessly we toss in oceanic wash
As we struggle so desperately to break free.
How man does struggle when cast out to sea,
Believing life’s waters would drown him,
He kicks and screams in a disturbing plea
To God, praying the tide would roll in.
He breaks body and mind in faithless fight,
Swimming against the current of nature,
Somehow unable to see the true light
Of the simple wisdom of the Dharma:
When drowning in oceans, the only way
Is to let yourself be one with the waves.
Paul M Harrison– THE DAILY MEDITATION
6. An alternative to using meditation for stress relief is to try Ayurveda oil massage
Stress can be cured by a number of Ayurveda practices .
Ayurveda is a highly advanced health system that began in India millenia ago. Ayurveda has recently become popular in the West.
The best Ayurveda practice for stress is an oil massage.
Oil massage in an ancient practice that has been shown to cool the nervous system. It warms up and relaxes the muscles and tissue. This helps blood flow through the body. The improved blood circulation then reduces the physical symptoms of stress. And one the body is relaxed the mind relaxes too.
To practice oil massage (Abhyanga) you will need some proper Ayurveda oil [AMAZON]
Every morning, shower or bath with a quarter cup of the oil, and gently massage the oil into the skin.
Now, let’s get back to those simple meditation techniques for stress relief.
7. Use CBT Meditation Techniques For Stress Relief
Mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy is a powerful way of changing our thoughts. This is both a cognitive thinking exercise and a meditation technique for stress relief.
If you experience repetitive painful thoughts, try CBT.
There are lots of different cognitive behavioral therapy exercise to try. My personal favorite CBT exercise for stress relief is called “Three Minute Breathing Space”. It’s a technique in which we spend three minutes calmly observing the breath. This calms both the body and mind, and stop the symptoms of stress. You can learn more via the previous link.
Buddha taught that all we are is the result of all we have thought. It’s definitely true for stress. If we think stressful thoughts we become stresses. But we can change our thoughts by using mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy.
[bctt tweet=”All we are is the result of all we have thoughts ” username=”t_d_meditation”]
8: Buddhist meditation techniques for stress relief
Mindfulness and meditation are two of the best stress relief techniques. But there are other Buddhist meditations for stress relierf too.
Dr. Russ Phillips is a Buddhist professor of psychology and Missouri Western State University. He led a study that looked into the effects of 14 different Buddhist ways of handling stress. These were essentially 14 pieces of Buddhist wisdom, such as living in the moment and believing in karma.
Dr. Phillips tested the effects of the various Buddhist ideas and practices. He observed how these practices effected the stress levels of Buddhist monks.
The results showed that there are six highly effective Buddhist ways of handling stress.
The best Buddhist meditation techniques for stress relief are:
3: Loving Kindness – being loving and compassionate to all beings
4: And of course Karma—realising that our past actions affect our present reality, and that our present actions affect our future.
5. Tibetan Singing Bowls (these are my favorite way of dealing with stress).
You can learn about all these techniques in my guide to Buddhist meditation for beginners.
9: Practice Pratyahara Yoga
- Do it now: Read my guide to Pratyahara Yoga.
Most of the causes for stress are to do with negative influences in our lives.
- It could be something you yourself do (watching negative TV shows, being on Facebook too much)
- It could be a person who makes you feel stressed (your husband / wife / girlfriend / boyfriend / boss).
- It could be that you live in a busy city with stressful noises that you keep you up all night
- Or it could be that the decor of your house is just not conducive to relaxation (Feng Shui it)
To combat stress we need to remove the causes of stress.
This is one of the aims of Pratyahara Yoga.
Pratyahara yoga is a mental type of yoga. In it, we remove negative influences and increase positive influences. This is similar to improving your diet, buy for your mind.
- To do it, write a list of all the negative influences in your life (the causes of stress in your life)
- Now write a list of all the positive influences (things that make you relax)
- Now look for ways to remove or reduce the negative
- And increase the positive
If you combine this with some of the meditation techniques for stress relief, you will see miracles.
10. Self compassion meditation for stress relief
Are you hard on yourself?
Do you beat yourself up when things go wrong?
I get that. I’ve been there. In a world of social pressure it can be hard not to get down on yourself.
But you know what? It doesn’t help. Beating yourself up will make you more stressed and more depressed.
Being your own best friend will beat stress.
So what would you do for your best friend? Give them gifts to cheer them up, right? Do that for yourself.
Buy yourself some gifts. Or if you don’t want to buy gifts, just treat yourself to something nice.
Cook a beautiful dinner and eat it slowly.
Take a long bath with relaxing candles around you.
Lie down and meditate. Or listen to relaxing music. These are all excellent meditation techniques for stress relief.
Be your best friend. Treat yourself. Your mind will thank you by removing the stress from your system.
You can also meditate on compassion.
11. One of the most simple meditation techniques for stress relief is breathing mindfully
When you’re stressed or depressed you probably act negatively.
Maybe you have a smoke. Maybe you watch some R rated ficks. Maybe you get angry and yell. Maybe you drink alcohol.
That’s cool. No problem indulging every now and again.
But the next time you want to indulge in a bad habit, just take 30.
Take 30 seconds to meditate on your breathing.
After those 30 seconds of meditating, see if you still want to be naughty. See if you want to indulge in your habit.
If you still want to indulge, hey, I’m not going to stop you. It’s your life. And besides, I’m pretty confident that after 30 seconds of meditating you’ll change your mind anyway.
12. Express your anger in healthy ways
Anger is natural.
Everyone –I don’t care who they are—everyone feels anger. It’s normal.
But studies have proven that when you actually act in an angry way, you just get more angry.
The trick to beating your anger is to express it in healthy ways.
You can use nonviolent communication to express how you’re feeling.
You can chat with friends.
You can write about it.
Express your anger in a healthy and positive way. This will diffuse the situation.
And remember that one of the best ways to stop anger and stress is to have fun. So take a break and do something enjoyable.
13. Accept that you suck at some things
Look, the reality is that we all suck at certain things. Me? I can’t tell a hammer from a chisel.
You can choose to feel ashamed of your weaknesses. You can worry about them, you can dwell on them, and you can feel worthless just because you’re human and not quite perfect.
Or you can accept it.
Choose to accept your weaknesses and to be okay with not being perfect.
14. Movement meditation for stress relief
Too sedentary a lifestyle will cause stress.
Simply moving and exercising will stop stress.
And you really don’t have to go nuts either.
You don’t have to run a marathon or climb a mountain. I mean kudos if you do do that. But you really don’t need to.
Go for a walk. Hit the club and dance. Play one of those motion-controlled video games. Just move.
Science shows that we can stop stress just by moving enough.
Movement of body is movement of mind. If you’re feeling stuck and stressed, move your body.
One great idea is to do movement meditations (for instance, go for a mindful walk)
15. Blog (or diary) your stress
Writing is highly cathartic.
For instance, I can tell you right now that I am stressed because it is the anniversary of my father’s death. And my mum will call in a minute and I’ll feel stressed trying to make her happy on this difficult day.
Thing is, I’ve just blogged about it in that sentence above.
And you know what?
Just writing that sentence, just expressing that stress, makes it seem more manageable.
You can make writing even more effective too. To do this, practice mindful writing.
16. Okay, not a meditation, but learn something new
Often when you’re stressed your brain is stuck in one way of thinking.
“I’m going fail my exams tomorrow,” you think. You get stuck on those negative thoughts. And that makes you stressed and depressed.
To beat stress, refresh your brain. Learn something new. This will force your brain to create new neurological pathways. And it will create new thoughts and new perspectives.
The mental entropy that takes place in your brain when you learn something new actually changes the structure of your brain. And it makes you think about things and perceive things differently.
When you’re stressed, do something new. Learn a new skill. Just take 10 minutes to do something completely different. This will change your mindset and beat that stress right out of your brain.
One of the best ways to do this is to start one of the top 10 healthy hobbies.
Use all these simple meditation techniques for stress relief that’s fast, natural and easy.
Above, we’ve looked at 16 of the best ways to stop stress for good. And we’ve looked at Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, and psychological techniques.
All of these methods helps with stress.
Which is your favorite?
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Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation