For many of us living in cities, we often miss hearing our flighty friends singing. Too much traffic noise or living in apartments and working in offices with closed windows keeps us from hearing them. Listening to music or watching t.v. distracts us. People that are more in touch with nature, that live in the country or forest areas can tell you that birds singing means all is good. Birds tend to go quiet when danger is around and this alerts the animals and humans in the area that something is up. So, when we hear birds singing it acts to soothe us and keep us calm because it lets us know there is no immediate danger. Singing birds means that the birds are happy, so we can relax. Try listening to just 5 minutes of bird singing every day to reduce your stress level.
Try this link on Youtube or find another one that you like: Sound of Nature - Bird Songs
All you need to do is just 5 minutes of meditation a day to lower your level of stress. Surely, you can find 5 minutes somewhere in your busy day to meditate. Some of the other benefits of meditating daily are that it can lower your blood pressure, increase your concentration, decrease your pain and increase your immune functioning. For more information check out this page: 10 Science Based Reasons to Meditate.
Don't worry, you don't need to contort your body into a weird posture to do this. Simply sit in a chair with your back as straight as possible without being uncomfortable and your feet flat on the floor or you can even do it lying down if sitting is difficult. Close your eyes and breathe. (If you want to increase your flow of energy while sitting, you may wish to place your left hand in your lap palm upwards, and your right hand on top of your left hand palm upwards as well and then gently touch your thumbs together and point your thumbs toward your belly button.)
There are two ways to do Breathing Meditation:
1. Feel the air enter and leave your nostrils or if your nose is stuffed feel the air pass your upper lip. Just concentrate on the feeling of the air as it enters your body. This can be a cooling sensation or a very subtle tickling sensation. Don't follow the air on it's journey, but keep your focus on the feeling that arises on your upper lip or the rim of your nostrils as you breathe. Now notice the feeling of the air as it leaves your body. This can be a similar tickling sensation as breathing in, but in the reverse direction or it can be a warm sensation. That's it. Just breath normally, you do not need to take big, long breaths. Spend at least 5 minutes concentrating on the feeling the air creates at the rim of your nostrils or upper lip as you breath in and out, in and out.
2. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your stomach as you breath. If your shoulders are raising and lowering, this indicates that you are breathing shallowly, which is usually created by stress. This shallow breathing is not as healthy for you as the deeper stomach breathing, so try your best to breath deeper while meditating. You don't have to take long, slow breaths, just breath normally, but try to feel the air expand your stomach when you breath in. And then notice how your stomach returns to normal when you breath back out. Again, that is all you have to do, just breath in and pay attention to your stomach pushing out and release the air and feel your stomach return. You don't need to follow the breath, just focus your attention on your stomach moving each time you breathe in and out. Do this for at least 5 minutes.
You can do either one of these simple meditations and switch them up from time to time if you want to.
3. Healing Breathing Technique
You may be familiar with the phrase "in with the good air and out with the bad". This follows along that path. The beauty of this stress buster is that you can do it anytime, any where and no one will even know you are doing it. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Just breath normally to start for the first few breaths. Then imagine that every time you inhale you are breathing in healing white light energy. You bring this healing, white, light energy breath down to your heart and from there it spreads throughout your entire body. You can imagine this white light healing any illnesses you have and reducing your pain, or just imagine it giving you beautiful healing energy. Do this for a few breaths and let yourself feel more relaxed and energized as you do this.
Now imagine that every time you exhale you breathe out all your pain, illnesses and suffering in the form of thick, black, smoke. Once this smoke leaves your body it instantly disappears. Try this for a few breaths. Allow yourself to release these physical, mental or emotional problems. Give yourself permission to reduce them and let them leave your body entirely. Once you have tried these out, combine the two for each breath. For every breath you take, inhale healing, white, light energy and exhale suffering, thick, black, smoke. Breathe in healing and breathe out suffering.
Once you get the hang of it, you can practice this any time, even standing in the line at the grocery store or bank. It is easy to learn and easy to do with very little practice you can master this technique that uses visualization with breathing.
I hope you find at least one of these methods for reducing stress helpful. Give them all a try and find your favourite one or use all three of them. Let me know if any of these work for you and which one you prefer in the comments below. Thanks.