As a meditaiton teacher, one of my most common requests is for some simple relaxation meditation techniques.
Most people come to meditation for relaxation. Sure, you know you can get a lot of health benefits from meditating, and that it can help with problems like stress. But deep down, I think the number one reason why people meditate is for relaxation.
So let me share with you my favorite relaxing meditation techniques. These are absolutely perfect if you are just getting into meditation.
Top 10 Relaxation Meditation Techniques
- Take a look at my guide to 31 meditation techniques. In it, I provide free tutorials to all the methods in this list. Thanks to these methods I was personally able to relax and stop being neurotic!
There are thousands of hours of relaxing meditation music available on Youtube and iTunes. Whether you just want to take 5 minutes at work and put a relaxing youtube video on, or whether you want to spend an hour with your eyes closed at home, relaxing music is a great way of relaxing and promoting inner calm.
9: Zen Walking
One of my favorite relaxation meditation techniques is Zen walking.
Walking itself is massively beneficial for our health and one of the most relaxing activities in the world, and Zen Walking makes it even better.
Odds are you probably already spend quite a lot of time walking. Whether you’re the outdoors type who loves to go on hikes, or, like many of us, you just have to walking to work, it’s easy to take advantage of zen walking meditation. All you need do is make the effort to be aware of your every step as you walk. Pay attention to the sensations in your legs, the sense of movement, as well as to the scenery, sights and sounds.
While you’re using relaxation meditation techniques, you might want to do yoga too.
Combining Yoga with meditation is one of the best ways to promote the mind / body connection, helping to relax you both physically and mentally. You don’t need to be a Yogi, either. To be honest, you don’t really need to know much about Yoga. To perform this technique, simply learn a few simple yoga moves, then perform them while being mindful of your breath and focussing on the sensations in your body. Of course, Yoga is also a good exercise for weight loss, an additional bonus.
One easy way to use yoga for relaxation is by using mudras.
Mudras are hand positions that are used to create spiritual and psychological effects.
7: Muscle Relaxation Technique
This is the best muscle relaxation meditation technique.
If you are feeling stiff in your muscles and need to let go of physical tension, a muscle relaxing meditation is perfect. The best muscle relaxation meditation is simple to do. Simply lie down on the floor and begin to focus on your breath. Then begin scanning your body gradually from tip to toe.
At various points in this scanning process you will find that certain muscles are tense. You will be carrying tension in specific points of your body. When you get to these parts, simply focus on drawing your breath into that area. Observe your breath entering through your nose, reaching to the tense part of your body and relaxing it.
One of the best muscle relaxation techniques is this Body Scan Meditation.
6: Relaxing In Bed
I find that meditating in bed is one of the best things we can do to promote inner calm. By meditating before bed, we let go of stresses from the day, improve sleep quality and allow ourselves to wake up the next day completely refreshed. It’s easy to do, too, simply spend ten minutes focusing on your breath before going to sleep.
5: Tai Chi
Tai Chi centres about observing breath passing through the body while performing simple and relaxing moves. I personally find that Tai Chi is the number one way to promote the mind / body connection. It is also one of the best ways of relaxing both physically and mentally. Tai Chi is not physically demanding, but it does at least get us moving, which makes it useful for weight loss too.
4: Audio Based
We discussed relaxing music above. I’d like to list audio meditations separately, The reason is simple. Music is about basic relaxation, where audio based meditation actually transports the practitioner somewhere. If we listen to the sounds of the ocean, we are transported there. Likewise when meditating on a waterfall we are transported there. To do an audio based meditation, choose an areas you would like to be, play a corresponding audio track and close your eyes. Simple.
Mantras involve reading a specific line of text over and over again. A relaxing mantra might involve focusing on the words “I am feeling calm an relaxed, free as a bird.” Naturally, this is just an example. You may choose whichever mantra works for you. By focussing on a positive and relaxing line, we get our mind to think in relaxing ways, thus promoting inner calm and relaxation.
I simply love Taoist meditations. And the research shows that Taoist meditations are very relaxing.
Techniques like Tai Chi, QiGong and Zhuangi (a breathing technique) are powerful ways of tending to the mind and cultivating inner peace.
1. Guided Meditation For Relaxation
There are lots of good relaxing apps that include soothing guided meditations..
Guided meditations use audio scripts specially written to guide you towards relaxation and inner peace. Our guided meditation scripts are written by a meditation teacher, and recorded using audio voice recorders. We will soon be releasing our guided meditation app, with audio and scripts for every purpose. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for more details on this.
Guided meditations are great. And especially for beginners. I often think that guided meditations are like a visit to the spa. They are quick and easy. Just make sure you also use other meditation techniques alongside guided meditations.
Self hypnosis is without the doubt the absolute best techniques for relaxation. And one of my personal favorite self hypnoses for relaxation is what I call the “Gallery Meditation”.
Begin, as with all meditation, by focussing on your breath. Allow yourself to calm for a few minutes and take a step back from your present preoccupations. Carry on focusing on your breath until you feel calm and free.
Now, whilst remaining calm and totally relaxed, allow your mind to become aware of the sensations in your body and of the internal image you have of your surroundings. Become aware of the sights, sounds and sensations of the room you are in. Here we are using the example of a bedroom, but bring to mind wherever you are doing this meditation.
Now mentally take one step back and notice the person that is seeing, hearing and feeling these sensations. In other words, become aware of yourself as being sensitive to your environment, such that you are looking at yourself looking at the world.
Notice that you are ableto step back from the reality that you normally consider “real life.” Realise that you are notthe sensations from the above step, you are not the person feeling those sensations, you are an energy that can tune in and out of your present reality.
Now take another step back and notice that, just as you were focusing on the bedroom image above, there are also other images you could focus on. There are different realities that you could see. Notice that you have a choice of which realities to focus on.
Take yet another mental step back and visualise all the different “realities” that you could see. Notice that there are a million different possibilities of life that you could choose to focus on and notice how the reality we began with above is just one of many images in your mind.
Being aware of all the different images you could choose to focus on, step completely out of your present reality and focus entirely on the energy inside you. Welcome this energy. It is the energy of creation. It is the energy that we place into the world. It is the painter that creates the images, sounds and sensations that we call “reality.” From this point of view of the world, you can realise your true power. You are able to choose which reality to focus on, and in so doing you are able to choose which life you live.
Why You Should Use Relaxation Meditation Techniques
Scientific research confirms that we are at our best when we are relaxed. Just take a look at this list of the benefits of relaxation.
Benefits of relaxation
- Slowing heart rate
- Massively reduces the anxiety
- Helps us to overcome depression
- Increasing blood flow to major muscles
- Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improving concentration and mood
- Maintaining normal blood sugar levels
- Reducing anger and frustration
- Boosting confidence to handle problems
- Reducing activity of stress hormones
- Slowing your breathing rate
- Improving sleep quality
- Improving digestion
- Lowering fatigue
Our brains are at their best when relaxed too. And not just because it massively reduces stress.
Stress inhibits cognitive functioning and heavily impacts brain health.
When we are stresses, the brain released cortisol and adrenalin that is generally used to help get us out of emergencies but is typically more of a hindrance than anything else. When we are stressed, we fixate on whatever we are stressed about and we become so singularly focused on the negative that we simply cannot function. At these times, the relaxing meditations that I have shared below come in handy.
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