I stumbled on this great mindfulness meditation technique last week when I was doing some research at a site by Dr. Lawrence Wilson, and then I modified it a bit and it has now become one of my favorites. Dr. Wilson doesn’t use the breath, but I find it enhances the experience. What I love the most about it is that it gives me the ability to relax and reduce stress almost instantly.
Reducing stress is a crucial component of any holistic and healthy living plan and should be something you incorporate into your life on a daily basis, regardless of whether you are practicing preventative health care or you already live with a chronic health condition.
We all have too much stress in our lives and all this excess stress is detrimental to our physical, emotional and spiritual health. So having a technique at your fingertips like this that you can use throughout your day is highly beneficial.
For the person with adrenal fatigue or other condition related to dysautonomia or autonomic nervous system dysfunction, this technique is invaluable.
Here’s the technique:
- Lie down or sit straight in your chair with your hands at your side.
- Close your eyes.
- Open your mouth and exhale. Close your mouth and take several deep breaths through your nose and breathe deep from your abdomen, not your chest. Breathe in and out through your nose. Deep, slow and complete.
- Become aware of your right hand. Just notice how it feels and where it is. Be aware of its presence.
- Sometimes it’s easier to become aware of each of your individual fingers instead of your hand, then move onto the hand.
- At the same time, while your eyes are still closed, look straight ahead as if you are looking through a hole in the middle of your forehead. Don’t strain your eyes and don’t roll them up or to the side. Just look straight ahead.
- (Optional) I find I’m very relaxed by step 6, so if I’m in a hurry that’s as far as go. However, when I have extra time I like to take it a step further. While my eyes are closed and looking through the hole in the middle of my forehead, I take a deep breath and guide it into the middle of my chest between my breasts. I push the breath into that area and then it radiates out through my arms and fingers and down my torso out through my feet and out my toes. Another option is to push the breath through the hole in the middle of the forehead, which also pushes it out through the arms, fingers, torso and feet. Either way, it feels like the breath pushes the stress out through the fingers and toes. I do several rounds with the breath and this provides deeper relaxation.
That’s all there is to it. In my experience this is the easiest meditation technique I have ever found. This whole process can be accomplished in just a few minutes. I personally find I begin to relax as soon I close my eyes and take the deep breaths. Then it deepens more as I become aware of my hand and then even deeper as I look through the hole in my forehead.
Not only does it reduce stress, but it also boosts the mood and incites feelings of harmony, balance and well- being.When we close our eyes, it stimulates alpha brain waves. When we practice deep breathing exercises and meditation, it too produces alpha brain waves. This results in feel good neurotransmitters in the brain to be released and it turns off the stress response system, which results in feelings of relaxation, joy, happiness, pleasure, pain reduction etc.
Mindfulness meditation techniques like this are very helpful for a variety of situations and health conditions like adrenal fatigue, chronic pain, high stress jobs, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, neurotransmitter imbalances, recovering from sugar or food addiction, recovery of any addiction, coping with any stressful situation, and day to day stress, frustration and tension.
If you’d like to learn more about the vast amount of health benefits that meditation has on your health, and a variety of simple and quick techniques like the one above, I have this great little handbook, Meditating for Health. You can learn the basics of meditation in just a few minutes.
The greatest aspect of this meditation technique is that it only takes a few minutes to destress and relax and it can be performed anywhere you are. I prefer to lie down and do it, but you can do it in your car, your chair, at work etc.
Now, if you have time, you can expand the session as long as you like. Just keep breathing deep through your nose as you look through the hole in your forward and be aware of your hand or fingers. The longer you engage, the deeper your relaxation and feelings of well-being will become. You can also play relaxation music in the background if you desire, but it’s not a necessary component of the process. I like to add music now and then, but I mostly enjoy practicing it in complete silence, which is relaxing in and of itself.
Take a few minutes to practice this technique several times throughout the day and you’ll find that you feel better emotionally, physically, and spiritually.