How to Start Meditating When You Already Feel Stressed

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Your mind is running wild. You can’t calm down. How can you possibly sit still and meditate?

Life is stressful. How can you possibly find time to meditate when you’re already stressed out?

Meditation can be a great way to help make yourself more stress resilient, but did you know it can actually be used to relieve stress in the moment?

Don’t believe it, then keep reading.

1. Start Where You’re Currently At

When you’re stressed your mind is already going crazy, the last thing you want to do is go inside and be even closer with your thoughts.

In fact, if you’re feeling anxious or stressed, then meditation will seem like the last thing in the universe you want to be doing.

But, it can actually be very effective. You just have to start where you’re at with the one thing you can control.

Your breath.

2. Embrace Your Breathing

In some forms of Zen meditation you can actually meditate with your eyes open. This is done so you’re less prone to get distracted by your thoughts.

This can actually be incredibly useful for us, as we’ll see below.

The other thing you can actually control is how you breathe. When you’re stressed chances are your breathing has become very shallow.

This kind of breathing will only cause your stress response to continue. But, by changing your breathing you can actually let yourself relax, and find some space between those stressful thoughts of yours.

The De-Stress When You’re Stressed Meditation

Now, we’re going to run through a little meditation that’ll help you de-stress when you’re totally stressed out.

  1. Sit in a relaxed posture.
  2. Close your eyes until they’re slightly open. Relax your jaw, your neck, and your shoulders. Just consciously move your attention to those areas and think relax.
  3. Take a deep breathe through your nose and breathe into the bottom of your belly. Hold for a few counts. Then, exhale until there’s no air left in your lungs.
  4. Repeat this breath in a slow and controlled manner until you feel yourself start to relax.

Once you practice this slow and controlled breathing for a few minutes you’ll notice that your mind will begin to slow down.

From here it’s much easier to think and move forward with whatever is stressing you out.

Take this little meditation with you when you go out into the world. When your mind seems to crazy to deal with, then turn to the breath and it’ll work with you to help calm your mind.

And of course, if you’re looking for ways to make yourself more stress resilient over the long-term, then it’s a good idea to start a regular meditation practice.

We offer a great guide for beginners who are looking to start a meditation practice that works.

Photo by Alexander Mils