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Rapport Sept 2016 - Meditation for Stress Relief

"This is a short article I wrote for Rapport magazine. I was asked to write 500 words on "meditation and coping with stress". Rapport magazine is produced by the Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Although meditation is not NLP there is some overlap in terms of the practitioners interest in helping people to relax and de-stress. To find out more about how meditation is different from NLP you could check out these other articles I've written here and here. Speaking from years of experience having explored both, NLP helps you explore what you already have access to, whereas meditation can take you much further into higher consciousness.

Mark Zaretti, Meditation Teacher.

Meditation For Stress Relief

Rapport Magazine Page 41 Issue 52 - Sept 2016 - Meditation For Stress Article

With almost 20 years of teaching, including running workplace meditation courses, I can say that "I need to deal with stress" is one of the main reasons people start learning meditation.

Meditation is well known for being a good stress-buster with lots of research showing breathing meditation can calm the nervous system.

Although I teach a range of meditation techniques from simple beginners breath meditation through to advanced energy based meditation, it is the beginners breathing techniques that often provide the quickest benefits for stress relief.

First aid for stress

Practicing breath meditation or listening to a guided meditate can lower stress levels within moments. This is what I call Meditation First Aid, getting someone quickly from a stressed state into a more relaxed state.

It’s wonderful to watch this rapid transformation and I provide a free guided meditation download on my site, which people already use for stress management. When first learning meditation people often find it easier to be guided because listening to another person’s voice seems to help people let go of stress and relax quicker. With practice you can do it on your own without guidance.

Building your stress buffer

As people meditate regularly, even if just 10 minutes a day they often feedback that they feel "less affected by life's ups and downs" or that they "feel more centred and in control". This is what I call building up the buffer.

Regularly meditating can create a buffer of inner stillness, which seems to really help people detach from unwanted stresses. The more you meditate, the more you strengthen your natural ability to access inner stillness, that place where you are less likely to be touched by or respond to the usual stress triggers.

Get some perspective

Meditation has the potential to reveal to you more about how your thoughts, emotions and body are all entwined. Importantly, you can discover that you are more than just your mind, feelings and body.

This bigger perspective can really help people to get more perspective on situations and triggers that, up till then, would have caused stress. It does not magic away the issues but it can help you to choose whether to allow those challenges to generate stress or not.

Personally I describe it as like "being in the world but less influenced by it", which makes life a lot more enjoyable.

From my own experience as a meditator, teacher, therapist, and NLP master practitioner what I really enjoy about meditation is that it's completely content free and ultimately self-empowering putting you, the meditator in control of your emotional, physical and mental welfare. It does not remove life's stresses, but it can give you a lot more control, choice and freedom to respond or simply let it pass.