Do you want to experience less stress in your life? One way to do that is to meditate. An effective way to meditate is to practice meditation with a soothing voice to guide you. That guide can be present in a live setting the guide’s voice can come to you in the form of a DVD, CD, or downloaded audio. Either way, guided meditation can be helpful to you in finding the ultimate in relaxation! When you set time aside to relax and create stillness on a regular basis, you can begin to undo some of the negative health impacts created by the presence of chronic stress.
How much time is required for you to begin to see some of these positive effects in your life? And how can you get the most out of the time that you invest in Guided Meditation? Good questions. Let’s look at some suggestions that address those questions.
Get the Most Out of Guided Relaxation
Here are some suggestions that can help you make the most out of the time you invest in listening to and meditating with audio guided relaxation:
- Length matters. The length of time that you spend in guided relaxation makes a difference. It should be long enough for you to slip into the relaxation response and remain there for about 20 minutes. Research indicates that 20-minute segments of deep relaxation are the optimal length of time so that you can begin to counter the damaging effects of chronic stress and thereby create positive health benefits.
- Create time and space for relaxation. Set aside consistent time and space so that you can relax. Try to find a time when you will be unlikely to be disturbed. Turn off the phone and the computer so that you will be more likely to “unplug” from the usual distractions in your life. It is optimal to have a specific place where you practice each day so that your body and mind are cued into moving into stillness and relaxation.
- Find a comfortable position. Some people prefer lying down. If that is what you choose, make sure to give yourself adequate support under your head and neck. A pillow or rolled blanket work well. You can rest on a soft surface such as a bed or mat, or you can be on a harder surface such as the floor if that is what you like. One of my favorite positions is to elevate the legs by placing the calves on a surface such as a chair seat; this position facilitates a state of relaxation and peace – it literally calms the mind. You can also choose to sit comfortably. Strive to be relaxed yet alert in whatever position you choose.
- Just relax and listen. As the CD begins, allow your eyes to gently close and move your attention to the soothing voice of your guide. Follow the direction your experienced guide provides you. Most guided relaxation will lead you into a state of deep relaxation before softly bringing you back. You will come out refreshed and rested, able to move into the rest of your day renewed, revitalized, and refreshed.
- Make a commitment. Plan to succeed. Since you are not attending a structured class for meditation and are using a guided audio product as your “class”, it is important to make it a priority. You will be more likely to do it if you make that your intention and goal.
- Relax before you are going to be in a stressful situation. Take the time to use your guided relaxation CD before facing a demanding situation. It can help you balance your nervous system so that you can be calm and composed. For example, if you have to make a presentation or attend a high-pressure meeting, practice guided relaxation beforehand. It can soothe your nerves and help you get ready for the up-coming situation.
Take Time for Guided Relaxation
We have looked at some of the ways you can get the most out of Meditation and Guided Relaxation. Following the leadership provided by a soothing voice that gently invites you to a place of tranquility and peace can help diminish the consequences of stress in your life and impart greater health and a sense of peace and delight. In a state of deep relaxation, you can begin to nurture a deeper connection to your heart and discover more of your authentic self in that connection.
I find that taking at least 20 minutes twice a day is optimal. Just 20 minutes of deep relaxation is enough to begin to undo the effects of stress. And all the better if done twice a day.
I challenge you to take 20 minutes to improve your life. You’ll be glad you did.
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