The first thing you need to do is find a quiet space where you will not be distracted. Turn the phone off, put the animals away and if you have children make sure they are asleep or being cared for as you will need 15 -30 minutes of no distractions. The next thing you will want to do is find a place where you can sit comfortably in an upright position with your spine straight. The final step of preparation is to set your intention. For instance; "I enjoy the feeling of well being I feel when my mind and body are stress free". This would be a good affirmation to start with and as you progress this same method can be utilized for goal setting, where you go into a deep relaxed state, bypass the critical conscious mind and plant seeds or suggestions directly into the sub-conscious mind. But for now lets just focus on achieving a relaxed state of mind in order to relieve your stress.
Lets get started. Choose a point on the wall that is about 5 feet away from where you are sitting. Make sure the point you select is slightly above eye level. Now I want you to focus all your attention on the point you selected and really focus on the detail of your selected point. When doing this you should notice that your eyes will strain in order to focus and look at the detail of what you selected to focus on. Do this for about 30 seconds to a minute. The next step after you have focused intently is to relax your eyes completely. Relax your eyes and notice how your peripheral vision is activated and how your vision expands. What you should start to notice and pay attention to is your expanded vision, you will start to notice the colors, textures of the items in your room that are in your peripheral vision. Maybe you notice the ceiling and floor and the items to the left and right of you. It's not important to pick out any detail, just notice how your vision has expanded. This is the critical part and where the science of this technique kicks in. What is happening when you engage your peripheral vision is that you trigger your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the relaxation response. The stress response is part of your sympathetic nervous system. The Parasympathetic system is the branch of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) responsible for the body’s ability to recuperate and return to a balanced state (known as "homeostasis") after experiencing pain or stress. This simple and quick technique is the doorway into the unconscious or subconscious mind and will bypass all of your conscious resistance. When you feel your vision expand the next thing you will notice is that your breathing will shift to a more relaxed state. Once your breathing has shifted you can then close your eyes and relax and drift. For the purpose of this exercise you just want to feel the affects of a relaxed state of mind and focus on your inhalation and exhalation of breath. By focusing on your breathing you allow your thoughts to slow down and this will quiet your mind. Stay in this state for about 15 minutes and when you are ready to return and open your eyes simply count from 1-5 and when you get to 5, open your eyes and stretch and go about your day.
This technique is a quick, safe and easy way to relieve stress and balance your mind and body. The important part is that it feels good which is our "natural" state of being. So lets review quickly the steps so you can try this on your own.
1) Choose a time and place where you will be without distraction.
2) Allow yourself about 15-30 minutes (5-10 minutes once you get used to it).
3) Set your intention. (ex: "I enjoy the feeling of well being I feel when my mind and body are stress free")
4) Select a point on the wall in front of you.
5) Focus intently on this point to the point you feel your eyes begin to strain.
6) Relax your your eyes and allow your vision to expand.
7) When your breathing shifts and slows you will close your eyes.
8) Focus on your breathing and allow your mind to drift and enjoy this state of relaxation.
9) When you feel you are ready to come out of meditation, simply count from 1-5, with each number you become more aware of your surroundings, feet and hands and then open your eyes, stretch and then go about your day.
I hope you find this exercise helpful in relieving any stress you may be experiencing.