Thousands of years ago the Buddha taught mindfulness as the number one meditation for relaxation.
Buddha taught that good living starts from within and that when we are happy and relaxed we are at our best.
Science confirms that meditation relaxes the mind and that when we are relaxed we are at our best.To the mind that is relaxed the whole world surrenders Click To Tweet
Mindfulness and meditation are essentially the act of focusing the mind on the present moment. And it has been scientifically proven that there are over 100 benefits of meditation.
But it all starts with relaxation and inner calm.
Why you’re at your best when relaxed
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.
Top 10 Relaxing Meditation Techniques
- Take a look at my guide to 31 meditation techniques. In it, I provide free tutorials to all the guides in this list.
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.
I’ve put together a collection of the most beautiful meditation music in the world for you. Take a look (it’s free).
9: Zen Walking Meditation
One of the quickest ways to relax is to learn walking meditation.
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.
Take a look at my guide to the 13 different styles of yoga.
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.
The best yoga mudra for relaxation is the Apan mudra.
7: Muscle Relaxation:
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: Meditation 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 focussing on your breath before going to sleep.
Another option is to use mantras for 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.
And a great alternative is Chi Meditation.
4: Audio Based Meditation:
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.
For the best sound meditations, get a crystal Tibetan Singing Bowl.
3: Mantra Meditation
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.
Not sure which mantra to use? Take a look at my mantras guide.
2: Taoist Meditations
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 great apps with guided meditations.
Our 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.
However, there are serious limits of guided meditations too.
Or you could just use this self hypnosis for relaxation.
The Gallery Meditation: Self Hypnosis for Relaxation
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 able to step back from the reality that you normally consider “real life.” Realise that you are not the 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.
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