If you are feeling tense, stressed, nervous, or restless, meditation is a great way to calm your mind. The following practices are two really easy tools that can help to ease your anxiety in the short-term, so that you can refocus your energy in a positive direction.
One-Minute Meditation Exercise
This can be done anywhere, as long as you are safe (as in not operating a motor vehicle, etc.). Sit comfortably, put your hands on your thighs and roll your shoulders a couple of times. Inhale through the nose to a count of five, and exhale from the mouth to the same count. Do 10 breaths like this.
Why does this work? The act of counting keeps your mind focused on something other than your anxiety. The breathing exercise helps to calm your parasympathetic nervous system, thereby relieving the stress in the moment.
Three-Minute Meditation Exercise
Again, begin by shaking off the moment – roll your shoulders and get comfortable. Place your hands on your thighs and try to relax. Inhale through the nose to a count of five, and then exhale to a count of 10. Count slowly, and purposefully in your mind. Work on doubling that exhale so you don’t run out of breath, and so that you don’t have any left over. Do 10 breaths like this.
I find that if I have the three minutes, I prefer the latter, simply because I think the longer exhale really helps me re-focus my energy. Try these in times of stress or anxiety, to help calm you. Then re-purpose your energy and get yourself going strong!
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Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen
Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.