In this meditation session I will share with you my best stress meditation script, and it’s benefits. This script has done wonders for my meditation students and me. I used to suffer from stress almost every day, but thanks to this stress meditation script I’ve been able to relax and stay calm even during difficult times.
Let’s get started.
Stress Meditation Script [20 minute session]
Note: If you would like to use a mudra while doing the meditation, the best mudra for stress relief is Gyan mudra. To do this, place your palms on your lap, turn hands over so the palms are facing upwards, extend your fifth, fourth and third finger, and make a circle with your thumb and index finger.
1: Choose a stress-free meditation space
We are meditating for stress relief, so it is important that your meditation time to be as relaxing as possible. To help with this, meditate somewhere relaxing, or alternatively clean up the room you’re already in. You know what it’s like when you’re trying to meditate, but you can hear the TV in the background, or your neighbours chatting, or when your room simply isn’t relaxing. So choose a relaxing space that will be free of stress.
2: Note your stress levels
If you are too stressed, meditation will be incredibly difficult. In times of extreme stress, you want to relax in easy ways first, before meditating. Otherwise, you simply will not be able to focus. That’s why, if you’re exceedingly anxious, I recommend doing something simple like listening to some relaxing music to help yourself unwind a bit before you start your stress-meditation practice.
If you’re a little tense, but you think you can focus through it, proceed right to the next step.
3: Starting our stress meditation practice
Throughout this practise, we’ll be focusing on mindful breathing (Buddhist Anapnasati). Buddhist monks us this meditation for “equanimity” (calmness), and it is the best meditation for stress relief. Plus, from scientific research, we know that this meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which produces relaxing feelings [Effect of anapanasati meditation technique through electrophotonic imaging parameters: A pilot study, Guru Deo, Kumar Itagi R, Srinivasan Thaiyar M, and Kushwah K Kuldeep, International Journal of Yoga].
However, because we are stressed, our meditation will be simpler than the traditional Anapanasati method.
4: Start by mindfully breathing through your nose
Gently close your eyes and focus your mind on your breath moving between your nostrils. You want to imagine that your conscious focus is like a tiny pin that you are placing on your nose. Keep your attention focused there, but make sure you are not struggling. It’s like you are gently placing your conscious awareness on your nose and letting it rest there.
5: Dealing with stressful thoughts
Because you were stressed when you started this meditation, inevitably there will be some stressful thoughts that come to mind when you try to meditate. The trick to dealing with these stressful thoughts is not to fight them. Imagine they are nothing to do with you. They are just things that are entering your conscious awareness and then leaving. Remind yourself that they are just thoughts, and continue to focus on your breathing.
6: Deepening the breath
Many people get this bit wrong so make sure you read the instructions properly. What you want to do is watch your breath as it moves around your body.
Currently, you have your conscious awareness placed on your nostrils. Widen your focus until you are aware of your breath moving into your diaphragm. Your breath will slow down and become deeper naturally (do not force it). Again, let your focus rest, as though it were an object that you have gently placed on your body, so that your focus is covering your breath moving through your body. Continue to focus on your breathing for 108 breaths (108 is an auspicious number that is used for Japa recitation (mantra meditation).
Watch your abdomen move gently up and down as you breathe.
One of the benefits of this stress meditation script is that it deepens your breathing, and deep breathing makes the body and mind relax [The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults, Xiao Ma et al., Frontiers In Psychology].
7: Removing stress from the body
Next, we are going to remove the symptoms of stress from the body. Stress manifests in many physical symptoms like raised heartbeat and tension in the chest. To help the body to relax, we are going to create some gentle internal vibration. To do this, we will be using a mantra: Om, which is the best mantra for stress relief.
Start to recite the mantra Om (pronounced “Aum”). Notice how the sound creates vibrations in your mouth. Meditate on those sensations. You will notice that gradually the mantra creates vibrations lower in the body. Follow the mantra as it creates vibrations in your throat, then in your upper chest, and then down into your abdomen.
The mantra is gently vibrating your muscles and internal organs to help your body to relax. Continue to meditate on this mantra for stress relief.
8: You want to keep going? Okay, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
I personally usually stop this stress meditation script here. However, if you would like to get even more out of this stress meditation script, I can highly advise John Kabat Zinn’s Full Body Scan.
The Body Scan is the fundamental part of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, which is one of the most respected courses in meditation for stress reduction. Research shows that the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course is highly effective at reducing stress [Effects of an 8-Week Body Scan Intervention on Individually Perceived Psychological Stress and Related Steroid Hormones in Hair, Dana Schultchen, Matthias Messner, Alexander Karabatsiakis, Christine Schillings & Olga Pollatos, Springer].
We are now ready to finish our stress meditation practice. However, it is important that you don’t just open your eyes and go about your day. You want to carry the feeling of relaxation with you.
Open your eyes slowly and mindfully, saying to yourself, “Opening”. Carry the feeling of Zen (relaxation) with you. Take a few minutes just to sit and be. Then mindfully go about the rest of your day, remembering the feeling of relaxation you felt through this stress meditation script.
This is my absolute best stress meditation script. Science shows that this method will activate the parasympathetic nervous system to produce feelings of relaxation. The body also relaxes as we recite the mantra “Om”. All in all, you will end up feeling restored, relaxed, and stress-free.