For many years, neuroscientists have been researching how to use mindfulness meditation for stress relief, to treat anxiety and depression. On this page you will learn how to apply mindfulness meditation for stress relief in your daily life. These techniques are designed for busy people who don’t have enough time to sit and meditate for hours. If you practice these mindfulness exercises properly, it can help you manage stress and may also help to manage many other challenging situations in life.
Before we continue, it’s a legal requirement to declare the following.
I am not a qualified medical practitioner. The information on this website is not medical advice. You must consult a professional medical practitioner for medical advice and should not replace any medication with instructions on this website without consulting a doctor.
Now onto mindfulness meditation for stress relief.
Before you start, have you completed the lessons in the Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners page? If not, then please don’t continue. Visit the Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners page and practice those lessons.
If you have completed those, then you can continue.
One question: Do you know what stress really is?
We have a page dedicated to explaining stress in simple terms without using scientific jargon. This basic knowledge is very important to apply mindfulness meditation for stress relief, which is explained later on this page. Forget everything you know about stress. Please visit the “What is Stress” page and read it from top to bottom. Then come back here and continue.
Ok, by now you have completed the beginner lessons for mindfulness meditations and have a fair idea of what stress really is. Let’s start the mindfulness-based stress reduction lessons.
Very important: Please don’t move from one step to the next without properly practicing each step. If you do skip steps, you will fail practicing mindfulness meditation for stress relief.
It has been found that an average person can have 6,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day. Some of those thoughts can be emotions such as joy, sadness, jealousy, fear, anger.
Your target in Step 1 is to be aware of one emotion a day. Just be aware that you have had that particular emotion, whether it’s good or bad. Don’t try to stop, analyse or manage the emotion. Simply be mindful of it. Basically, catch one emotion a day to start with.
This sounds like a walk in the park. Catch one out of potential 60,000. However, when you try it, you will realize that how blind we are, and of how unaware of our thoughts and emotions we are.
You will realize that we are living in “auto-pilot” mode. We are behaving like robots running on pre-defined programs without any self-control.
This will be a breakthrough moment. It will take time to master this technique. Don’t rush. Don’t be upset if you fail continuously. That’s normal.
Tip: Some of my students achieved Step 1 by setting-up recurring reminders on their phones to remind themselves to complete the exercise.
When you are comfortable in “catching” one emotion a day then try to gradually increase your awareness to catch two a day. Gradually increase up to five emotions a day before moving onto Step 2.
There is no rush, no deadline or time limit. Make this a fun exercise and take your time with it.
By now you are comfortable in catching or being aware of a few emotions a day. In this step you are going to separate yourself from your chatter.
How do you do this? Simply ask a “Why am I ….” question. Fill the blank with the emotion you became aware of.
Why am I happy?
Why am I angry?
The entire process can be summarized as follows:
Let’s assume that you have become aware of being angry. The moment you became aware, ask the question “Why am I angry”? Wait for answers, don’t rush it. The chatter inside you will start giving answers. Simply be an observer of those answers. Don’t try to control anything.
You will notice that the power and intensity of your anger is diminishing. Or it might be completely gone by simply becoming mindful of the emotion.
Try it with a few other emotions. Have fun. Your aim in this step is to be aware of the chatter and understand that you are not the chatter. It can take time to separate yourself from the chatter. Don’t worry. Its perfectly normal. Once again, there is no rush, no deadline or time limit. Simply enjoy the process and remember to do it as often as possible.
I’ll tell you a secret. Once you master Step 1 and Step 2 you would “kill” stress at the birth of it, before it even becomes stress. This means that you are already avoiding stress by practicing higher than mindfulness meditation for stress relief.
However, there is a chance that some emotions, with the help of constant “opinions” from the chatter can become stress. Let’s see what to do when that happens.
The solution is an extension of Step 2. Let’s explain this through a real-life example.
Let’s say you have an important job interview next week. You become stressed about the interview. With the help of the previous lessons, you are aware that you are stressed.
Ask this question.
“What’s the worst thing can happen? Am I going to die?”
Most probably the answer is NO. Watch your stress level going down.
However, the chatter won’t give-up. It will keep bugging you.
“Yeah you won’t die, but you won’t get another opportunity”
“This is too good to be missed”
“You won’t have a job. You will be jobless”
“Then how are you going to pay your bills?”
Blah blah blah…
Now is the time to stop the chatter. Simply observing it will reduce the power of your chatter and can completely stop it. Sometimes it may keep going. Say “shut up” to your chatter. Use any strong word if needed. Talk to the chatter as if you are talking to an annoying person. Believe me, it works! Try it yourself and see.
Yes, anyone can use this mindfulness meditation for stress relief exercise in daily life. You will be amazed with results. You will become a very calm person. Nothing will bother you as much as it used to.
“You are the pilot of your aircraft called life. Are you in control?” – mindshiner.com