Release stress in less than a minute.
The most effective way I've found to ease stress and tension is to tune in to the senses. Not just the five basic senses but also the sense of the breath, the sense of yourself as an observer of your experience, along with many other subtle sensations available for us to experience in the body. Why does this work? Because sensing inhibits thinking (just as thinking inhibits sensing) so the more you tune in to your senses the more you get out of your stressed out thinking mind. Try it out with the practices below. These are a few meditation techniques we cover in the Introduction to Meditation course.
A simple Breath Meditation:
As you breathe, recite to yourself (in your head) the words 'I am breathing in' as you inhale and 'I am breathing out' as you exhale. Continue for five deep (into your belly), slow breaths. Continue as above for another five breaths and see if you can extend your exhale to be longer than your inhale.
If you’d like something longer I've recorded a 10 minute breath meditation for you here.
Quick Body Scan:
There are many ways to practice a body scan and the time can vary from one minute to an hour. For a taste, start by feeling your feet on the floor. Stay with this awareness of your feet on the floor for a moment before travelling your awareness from your feet, along your legs, to your torso; then move your awareness to the hands, along your arms, to the shoulders, your neck, and finishing with your head. For a longer (10 minute) body scan meditation I've recorded, click here.