If you are feeling stressed, take a cue from Buddhist philosophy and meditate. The ancient practice of breathing and movement concetrates on the internal rhythems of the body. Paying attention to the body reduces the heart rate and creates self awareness. With greater self awareness comes balance, clarity and the ability to cope with stress. Start meditation slowly, and keep things simple until you feel comfortable enough to take on poses.
Create a Meditation Space
Find a quiet spot that is conducive to healing. Remain open to the possibilities a space presents. You may discover that the corner of an office works just as well as the corner of your room. Meditate in the same space for at least 15 minutes each day. The area will develop a meditative atmosphere as your mind and body attune to the space. Over time, you will arrive at the mediation area ready to relax and focus.
Objects and momentos contribute ambience and serve to inspire. Bring your favorite picture into the space. Add a flower to a bowl of pebbles. Place a candle on a saucer. Set a soft cushion on the floor or roll out a plush rug. Toss in some ambient background music if you wish. The key is to infuse your space with meaning, not clutter.
Focus on Relaxation
Make your spine as straight as possible when you sit. Use a chair with lumbar support, if you have back trouble. Make sure your trunk and thighs are at a 90 degree-angle, your thighs and lower legs are at a 90-degree angle, and your ankles and feet are at a 90-degree angle. Set your elbows on arm rests, and keep your wrists flat, so that your arms and forearms maintain a 90-degree angle.
Close your eyes. Focus on the large and small muscles of your body. Tell the muscles in your neck, shoulders, arms and hands to relax. Let go of the tension in your the upper and lower back, the chest and abdomen and pelvis. Move to your buttocks, thighs, ankles and feet, telling each group of muscles to relax.
Focus on your breathing to ease tension. Slowly inhale until your lungs fill with air. Hold each breath two to three seconds, and then slowly exhale. Concentrate on the area below your nose, and the air passing in and out of your body. Return to this place, if you become distracted. When you feel calm, turn your attention to the top of your head. Count from one to four, and focus on soothing sensations in your neck and shoulders. Do this for each muscle group as you work toward your toes. Repeat the process with longer, deeper breaths.
At the end of your meditation, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. As your practice progresses, you will feel a greater sense of inner peace and creativity. You will demonstrate better reasoning and sharper mental acuity. Gradually, you will achieve greater emotional control and improve relationships.