Doing free unguided meditations yourself to manage stress is a great idea. However first you have to be aware of at least one unguided meditation technique.
Here I outline two free unguided meditation approaches that you can use.
Let’s get started.
Unguided Meditations Introduction
Doing unguided meditation sessions for stress management is a good idea. This means that you are not reliant upon having access to guided meditation resources. Once you know and have practiced a few times at least one unguided meditation session using a certain technique, you can then usually tweak that approach to your particular situation and do unguided meditation sessions. This can be useful during normal life experiences, like being struck in a traffic jam when driving. Of course, you leave your eyes open and are alert, however you might say silently to yourself some loving kindness phrases when waiting for the traffic jam to free up, so that you can continue on with your day.
A Simple Meditation Technique
There are many different meditation techniques. My experience of meditation is that it is a process used to help calm the mind, and in so doing, gives you that additional space and time to help.
During the meditation process, the person doing the meditation is trying to keep their attention on a main focal point. For example, this could be focusing on their breathing. By focusing their attention on their main focal point, their attention is not drawn to other things. This of course, is easier said than done. When the individual realizes that their attention has drifted away from their main focal point, they are to return to their main focal point. It is important that before going back to the main focal point that the person doing the meditation does not “beat themselves up” for letting their thoughts drift. It is normal and kind of expected that the person doing the meditation will drift to something else apart from the main focal point. When they do, the person simply acknowledges that they drifted and return back to the main focal point in a calm and relaxed manner.
Meditation may be used to reduce stress which is why we are interested in it here. There are many different meditation techniques. Here, I will focus in on one extremely simple approach which you will be able to do yourself, seconds after reading this.
- Sit comfortably
- Breathe naturally
- Follow the sensation associated with breathing in and breathing out
- Let tension out with every out breathe
- When your notice your mind wandering and it will, return to your breath
The main idea is to do this for a set period of time, starting with two minutes and performing a few times every day. You can use a timer countdown device to do this. Most smartphones come with a timer countdown function.
You can increase the amount of time from two minutes over time to longer periods. Increasing it by one minute per week is one approach, until you have got it up to your target amount of time.
Loving Kindness Meditation Technique
There is a meditation technique called Loving Kindness. If I am driving and struck in traffic, I find that thinking silently “May that driver in that car over there have a good day” type of thought is useful. Some of these components are learned during different guided meditation sessions for stress, so I begin to use the ones I like in other areas of my life.
Loving Kindness is one type of meditation which is a great tool to have in your stress management toolbox. Loving Kindness meditation is a type of meditation that has loads of benefits and is easy enough to do. Lets do a very simple and effective loving kindness session.
Practice Loving Kindness Meditation To Reduce Your Stress
If you are interested in reducing your stress levels, consider the Loving Kindness Meditation technique. Below are instructions to practice a loving Kindness Meditation session to help you to reduce your stress. I hope that you find this information useful and practical. I know I do. 🙂
The instructions are:
- Only do this in an environment where it is safe to do so. For instance, do not do this when you are driving a car or operating machinery 🙂
- Sit down with your back straight and ensure you are comfortable.
- Close your eyes, assuming that this is safe to do.
- Repeat this phrase silently and gently to yourself for a) between 1 and 10 minutes or b) say a set number of times eg 10 times
“May I be well. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering.”
- Reground yourself to your environment – Take a few deep breaths gently and silently so that you are ready to continue on with your day.
- Open your eyes
- Take a few moments peace and quiet before continuing on with your day.
- Be sure to pause for a while before continuing on with your day.
If doing this by time, you might use a clock function on a smartphone. Some of them have a ‘count down’ function.
If doing this by a set number of times, don’t worry if you lose count or don’t count properly. When you get to 10, restart at 1. If you lose count, restart at 1. If you decide to do 20 times, do 2 counts to 10.
Remember that this is a stress management tool, the last thing you want is to stress out during this progress. So if you think you are about to stress out: Stop. Then very gently restart the process but only if you want to. In this case, only repeat the phrase say 3 times. Then once you have done this, you can very gently restart again but only if you want to. Remember to be kind to yourself.
Examples of Loving kindness phrases
- May I be kind to myself.
- May I accept myself.
- May I accept my life.
- May I love myself.
- May I be healthy.
- May I be free from pain.
Personally I find it best to stick with about 3 of them at any one time. That way makes it easier to remember the phrases to use. Also rather than saying all 3 of them in ‘one go’, you could adapt the following approach:
- Repeat the “May I be well” phrase silently and gently to yourself for a) between 1 and 10 minutes or b) say a set number of times eg 10 times
- Repeat the “May I be happy” phrase silently and gently to yourself for a) between 1 and 10 minutes or b) say a set number of times eg 10 times
- Repeat the “May I be free from suffering” phrase silently and gently to yourself for a) between 1 and 10 minutes or b) say a set number of times eg 10 times
This is a very simple and very effective loving kindness session. Other more detailed sessions involve sending loving kindness thoughts to other people.
Someone that you love every much. For example, your mother. In this case the “May I” part of the phrase becomes “Mum, may you”. So the example phrase “May I be well. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering.” becomes “Mum, may you be well. May you be happy. May you from suffering.”
Someone that you are neutral about, maybe a colleague or a neighbour that you do not know every well.
Someone that you do not get on great with, maybe someone who annoys you greatly.
Then everyone on the planet. The shortest simplest phase is “everyone everywhere” that way you include everyone.
Using Unguided Meditations Conclusion
Using unguided meditation is a good way to do meditation, especially if you are waiting for something to happen eg waiting for a traffic jam to clear or waiting in a queue.
This article is part of my Stress Management Techniques series of articles. My Stress Management Techniques article outlines over 20 different techniques. If you want to learn about these, you can read them here.