The expression “it’s a rat race, and the rats are winning” refers to contemporary life and has been around for a long time.
There are moments when it seems as if life is a treadmill whose pace is continually being increased, and other times when it does not. Everyone feels some amount of stress at some point in their lives, and some individuals endure significant levels of stress on a consistent basis. According to WebMD, stress may cause a variety of unpleasant physical and mental side effects, including aches and pains, inability to sleep, worry, and even melancholy. Sometimes stress is represented in bodily symptoms such as rashes and hives, increased inflammation, and other gastrointestinal difficulties; alternatively, stress may worsen these conditions. Stress in unhealthy amounts is never enjoyable. In addition, it may be detrimental to one’s health to feel, consciously or subconsciously, as if one is under continual strain.
Altering one’s surroundings often appears to be the solution to a problem. It is obvious that it is often beneficial to rearrange and eliminate parts of one’s exterior life “puzzle” that are not functioning well or do not fit together properly.
On the other hand, stress management and other health measures are concentrating their attention inward an increasing amount. “[s]tress does not originate from external events, but rather from our interior responses to them,” says Roy Masters, a meditation instructor at the Foundation for Human Understanding. Masters, along with an increasing number of specialists on meditation, teach that a person’s mind may be trained to cease reacting negatively to a variety of situations and feelings. This ultimately leads to a freeing feeling of impartiality towards life and all it has to offer.
If being overly stressed, depressed, ill, or in pain is a problem for you, there is a good chance that you intuitively realise that if you could just “turn down the volume” inside your head, you would not only feel relief, but you would also feel a greater sense of wellness. This is especially likely if being overly stressed is a problem for you. The issue is, given where you are right now, how in the world are you going to get to that calmer place?
In situations like these, having a “portable relaxation coach” like an MP3 player on hand might be of great use. While it is true that listening to music on its own can be relaxing (for example, consider the book This Is Your Brain on Music by neuroscientist Daniel Levitin), instead of skirting around the issue, why not get to the heart of the matter and use your MP3 player to incorporate regular guided meditation experiences into your life?
You need a portable relaxation coach
The use of music and words uttered by an instructor is common in guided meditation. The listener might be led by a guide through a variety of mental states, breathing exercises, or fantasies; the options are almost limitless (and easily customizable to your preferences over time). In the same way that there are many different types of music, there are many different kinds and topics of guided meditation that may be downloaded as MP3s. There are a lot of free downloads available. You may tune in to a more peaceful place, even if just for a few minutes at a time, throughout the day, by downloading a handful of your favourite guided meditations and keeping them on your device.
For instance, the Foundation for Human Understanding makes available for free download an MP3 version of Roy Masters’s “Be Still and Know,” in addition to a great deal of other meditation-related content. The Moment of Tranquility Journal is another another resource that offers free guided meditation downloads. This publication highlights the work of Ananga Sivyer and contains an MP3 download shop.
Download Meditation is an excellent website that originates in Australia. It is a gateway that offers MP3 downloads on guided meditation, audio courses and podcasts on meditation and visualisation, as well as a section that is dedicated to children’s and group meditation. The vast majority of the materials on Download Meditation are available without charge. Breathworks-Mindfulness, based in the United Kingdom, is yet another organisation that offers downloadable audio books on meditation.
The practise of Mindful Awareness Meditation is one kind of meditation that is not just becoming more well-known, but the benefits of which are also receiving increasing backing from scientific studies (also called Mindfulness). Practicing mindfulness is “taking time off” from whatever else is going on in your life or in your thinking by paying attentive attention to the here and now via the use of a variety of different techniques. According to Cathy Wong’s definition on About.com, the practise of mindfulness meditation involves “focused your attention on the present moment.”
There are a number of academic institutions that are committed to the study of mindfulness methods as well as their application. Jon Kabat-Zinn is the individual responsible for the establishment of both the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Author and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn is widely regarded as a pioneer in the study and application of mindfulness. He devised a programme for the reduction of stress via mindfulness that lasted for eight weeks. Both “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” and “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” were written by him and published by Delta in 1991. (Hyperion, 1994).
There is a Mindfulness Practice Center located at the University of Vermont. It includes ten- and fifteen-minute sitting meditations, a body awareness exercise, and a lovingkindness meditation, which is described as “a traditional guided meditation” and is based on the principle that “we can increasingly expand and cultivate our ability to experience our kind heart.” Additionally, it offers a variety of free MP3 downloads.
The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), which is a component of the Semel Institute of the University of California (Los Angeles) Health System, is considered to be among the top sites to begin one’s investigation into the practise of mindfulness. The MARC offers a wide variety of free MP3 meditation downloads, in addition to a complete collection of material that is easily understandable and accessible on this kind of meditation. The website offers a downloadable guide titled “Complete Meditation Instructions,” as well as a “Breathing Meditation” that lasts for five minutes and a “Body and Sound” meditation that lasts for three minutes.
In addition to that, the MARC provides a mindfulness clock. After it has been installed—for example, on your computer—it tolls a bell or plays a conventional Westminster chime at the intervals that you choose, such as once every hour or once every fifteen minutes. The purpose of the mindfulness clock is to serve as a gentle reminder to take a mental break at regular intervals. It nudges you to conduct a little meditation, practise a few breathing exercises, and concentrate on the body and sound—all of those wonderful things that, otherwise, might get swamped out by the press of everyday life. [Case in point:] When you can listen to a guided meditation track on your MP3 player, it makes it much simpler to make use of the little amount of time you have to accomplish something that will really be of use to you.
MP3s are no longer limited to serving just the music industry. Discover the world of downloaded meditation instructions, and transform your MP3 player into the ideal personalised and transportable relaxation guide.