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Unlock Inner Bliss: 7 Powerful Meditation Techniques for Stress Relief

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Summary: Feeling the weight of stress? Turn to meditation for stress relief from Mindvalley experts to restore your peace of mind and spirit.

Meditation isn’t a new concept. It’s an age-old practice, rooted in various cultural traditions and spiritual doctrines. However, in recent years, people all around the world have started to use it, no matter what their personal beliefs are.

And the reason? It’s pretty simple—meditation helps alleviate stress.

When deadlines, demands, and drudgery start to dictate our lives, meditation for stress relief becomes our go-to sanctuary. It’s a safe space where we can retreat and find our inner calm.

As Gelong Thubten, a well-known Buddhist monk and trainer of Mindvalley’s Becoming More Loving Quest, says, “Meditation means choosing to be happy.” And all you’ll need is an open mind and a few minutes of your day. 

How Can Meditation Help With Stress Relief?

The essence of meditation is to slow down and bring your attention to the present moment. By redirecting your thoughts and calming your mind, you can counter the stress response and induce a state of relaxation.

When you release stress, you come home to yourself.

— Donna Eden, trainer of Mindvalley’s Energy Medicine Quest

Stress, as you may know, is essentially your body’s response to any kind of demand or threat. When you feel threatened, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. And this “fight or flight” response is your body’s way of protecting you.

Now, in moderation, stress can be beneficial. It can help you meet daily challenges, motivate you to reach your goals, and even boost your memory. 

However, when stress becomes a constant companion, it’s more harmful than helpful. Research has shown that chronic stress can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes. And this can lead to a host of health problems, from heart disease and sleep disorders to depression and obesity.

This is where the mindfulness practice comes in. What’s great is, the benefits of meditation go beyond just stress relief, including:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Improve your sleep
  • Increase emotional well-being
  • Enhance your immune system

And in a world where stress has become the norm, these benefits are indeed compelling.

How to Do Meditation for Stress Relief

When it comes to managing stress, there are several mindfulness-based stress reduction practices you can try. Here are some meditation tips for stress relief you can introduce into your daily routine:

  • Mindful breathing. Begin by focusing on your breath as it flows in and out. Notice the sensation of each breath and let it anchor your attention.
  • Journaling. Sometimes, our minds can be overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. Writing them down can help us clear our minds and focus.
  • Mantra meditation. In this practice, you silently repeat a calming word or phrase (your “mantra”) to prevent distracting thoughts from entering your mind.
  • Guided imagery. Close your eyes and imagine a place that makes you feel calm and peaceful. It could be a real place or a scene from your imagination. As you visualize, engage all your senses—the sounds, scents, and textures of this peaceful place.
  • Body scan. Start at the top of your head and work your way down to your toes. As you move through each part of your body, pay attention to any sensations, tensions, or discomfort you feel, then consciously try to relax that area.

There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to meditation. The best practice is the one that resonates with you and helps you feel more peaceful and less stressed. 

How to create a stress relief mantra for meditation

The word “mantra” itself comes from Sanskrit, roughly translating to “mind tool” or “instrument of thought.” 

The main purpose of it is to provide a point of focus during meditation. And using one can make your meditation more effective. 

You can choose any word or phrase that feels soothing or inspiring. It could be as simple as “Peace,” “Relax,” or “I am calm.” It could also be in Sanskrit, such as “Om” (meaning “it is,” “will be,” or “to become”) or “Ham-Sah” (meaning “I am THAT).

Repeat your chosen mantra in your mind as you meditate. If your thoughts drift away, simply return your focus to the mantra. 

Over time, you’ll associate the mantra with a feeling of relaxation and peace. And that can make it a useful tool for dealing with stress.

AI-generated image of a woman practicing meditation for stress relief

Why Is Meditation for Stress Relief Important?

The beauty of meditation is that it doesn’t just help manage stress; it addresses the issue at its root. By training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts, you can combat the negative effects of stress and invoke a relaxation response.

Because the thing is, the modern world is a hotbed of stressors. Be it the unending work emails, the constant pressure to be “on,” or the pandemic-induced uncertainties, stress seems to lurk at every corner. 

According to a 2022 report by the American Institute of Stress, 55% of Americans are stressed during the day. What’s more, it causes 57% of US respondents to feel paralyzed. And to add the cherry on top, 63% of US workers are ready to quit their job to avoid work-related stress.

With such high statistics, finding effective strategies to promote relaxation is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. And that’s why meditation is important. 

Unlike other stress management strategies that require special equipment or expert supervision, anyone can practice meditation anytime, anywhere.

You can take your meditation with you wherever you go. Practice micro-moments of mindful awareness many times per day.

— Gelong Thubten, trainer of Mindvalley’s Becoming More Loving Quest

It’s truly a tool that empowers you to take charge of your mental health and well-being. And by weaving your choice of guided meditation for stress relief into your routine, you can create a life of greater balance, tranquility, and resilience to stress.

7 [FREE] Best Guided Meditations for Stress Relief

While the simple act of focusing your mind and breathing deeply can help reduce stress, there are specific techniques and types of meditation that have been developed specifically to help ease tension and anxiety. 

I think, in our education system, we tend to train the brain but not the heart,” explains Gelong. “People are learning a lot of information, but they’re not learning how to expand their consciousness. They’re not learning how to deal with emotions. They’re not learning how to deal with stress.”

There are some great guided meditations for stress out there. For one, the Mindvalley App provides daily free meditations when you sign up for an account. And as a Mindvalley Member, you’ll have access to a vast library of meditations at your fingertips.

In the meantime, here’s a look at six you can try.

1. NSDR

Neuroscientist and podcast host of the Huberman Lab, Dr. Andrew Huberman, coined the term NSDR, which is simply an acronym for “non-sleep deep rest.” It’s an excellent choice for those who find themselves constantly tired or feeling drained.

This technique requires you to remain conscious while putting your body in a state of deep rest, providing similar benefits to deep sleep in a shorter time frame. Additionally, it involves body scanning and deep relaxation techniques, making it a powerful tool for combating stress.

Try this meditation for stress relief:

NSDR is very similar to José Silva’s dynamic meditation, which is offered on Mindvalley’s The Silva Ultramind System Quest. And according to Vishen, the founder of Mindvalley and trainer of the Quest, it focuses on actively using your mind to address life’s problems.

For an immersive experience of this transformative approach, Vishen guides you through a centering exercise that you can follow:

Advanced Alpha Level Meditation—The Centering Exercise | Silva Ultramind System | Vishen

2. Mindfulness meditation

One of the most well-known forms of meditation is mindfulness meditation. It involves paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment without judgment.

This type of meditation is a potent tool for reducing stress. It encourages you to step away from your swirling thoughts and focus on the present, which then helps alleviate feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

As Emily Fletcher, founder of Ziva Meditation and trainer of Mindvalley’s The M Word Quest, suggests, “Forget about clearing your mind. The brain thinks involuntarily, just like the heart beats involuntarily.”

Try this meditation for stress relief:

Take a few minutes to breathe deeply with the help of Emily. This meditation includes thought-provoking questions to help you focus on the present moment. 

And the result? Instant stress relief.

Powerful Stress Release Meditation with Emily Fletcher | Mindvalley

3. Hypnosis meditation

What’s the best meditation for stress relief? It’s difficult to point to one, but hypnosis is definitely up there, especially given that it promotes mindfulness for anxiety.

Hypnosis meditation uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness, also known as trance. During this process, you are guided to focus on positive thoughts and ideas. And this can help replace negative thought patterns that cause tension and anxiety.

Any negative traits you identify are not really yours,” explains Paul McKenna, renowned hypnotherapist and trainer of Mindvalley’s Everyday Bliss Quest. “They belong to your negative self-image and were programmed into you when you were a child. By identifying them honestly, you are about to let them go!

Try this meditation for stress relief:

This meditation, guided by Paul, helps you deeply relax and boosts your daily energy levels. Just remember to listen when you can fully unwind, as repeated use reinforces positive changes on a subconscious level.

Quick 3-Minute Guided Meditation to Reduce Stress and Worries | Paul McKenna

4. Candle meditation

Candle meditation, also known as Trataka, is a yogic practice that involves focusing your gaze on a candle flame while trying to keep your mind clear of thoughts. 

That’s it?” you might ask. “Just staring at a candle?

Simply put, yes. But this meditation is different than others in one way: it’s done with your eyes open. (After all, how else can you look at the flame, right?)

What’s more, this is a self-guided practice. And without the use of a guide, your mind may wander as it pleases. 

However, as you learn to focus on the candle flame, you may just find that your mental chatter reduces. And instead, it opens you up to profound insights.

Try this meditation for stress relief:

This meditation can be used as a helpful break from your busy daily life, and you could use it more than you think. 

Powerful Guided Meditation to Find Inner Peace and Reclaim Your Worth | Mindvalley

5. Morning meditation

Starting your day with mindfulness practices can set a positive tone for the rest of the day, helping you manage stress effectively. 

Morning meditations often involve:

  • Deep breathing,
  • Visualization, and
  • Setting intentions for the day.

In doing so, they provide a serene space before the chaos of the day ensues. And this allows you to take on any stressors more effectively.

Try this meditation for stress relief:

What better way to start the morning than with a practice of self-awareness mixed in with a little self-care? It gives you a moment to pause and reset, helping you face the rest of your day.

So plug and play with this meditation music:

Meditation Music to Reduce Stress and Relax Mind and Body for Positive Energy | Omvana by Mindvalley

6. Evening meditation

Evening meditations not only soothe the day’s stress but also make space for your intuition to surface. As the day winds down and the world becomes quiet, you can better tune in to your inner voice.

But here’s the thing: intuition isn’t always about pleasant affirmations or reassuring words. Sonia Choquette, a renowned intuitive guide and trainer of Mindvalley’s Sixth Sense Superpower Quest, puts it aptly: “Intuition doesn’t tell you what you want to hear; it tells you what you need to hear.” 

This wisdom can help you navigate through challenges and make sound decisions. And methods for evening meditation, like body scans and guided visualizations, can not only help promote relaxation and better sleep but also stimulate your intuitive abilities.

Try this meditation for stress relief:

In this meditative practice, Sonia guides you to truly connect with your body, let go of stress and anxiety, heal from past traumas, and immerse yourself fully in the present moment. 

The result is deep relaxation and an invigorating sense of inner peace.

A Guided Meditation to Heal From Anxiety, Stress, and Trauma | Sonia Choquette Mindvalley Meditation

7. Mantra meditation

Mantra meditation involves repeating a word or phrase (the mantra) to help clear the mind. This constant repetition helps to distract the mind from distracting thoughts, thereby reducing stress and promoting a state of calm.

When it comes to meditation mantras for stress relief, some people choose traditional ones like “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” (meaning “peace of mind, body, and speech”), while others may use affirming, positive phrases like “I am enough.” So experiment with different ones and find a mantra that resonates with you. 

Remember, consistency is more important than duration, so it’s better to meditate for a few minutes every day rather than an hour once a week.

Try this meditation for stress relief:

You don’t always have to feel anxious in today’s fast-moving world. Listen to calming sounds filled with good vibes. And adding a mantra on top of it can really help refresh your mind and body. 

Calming Meditation Music to Relax the Mind and Body | Omvana by Mindvalley

Stress-Free Is a Choice

In this chaotic, always-on world, stress has become a companion for many of us (albeit an unwanted one). However, the ancient practice of meditation provides us with a powerful tool to judo chop! It.

As Emily Fletcher says, “We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation.” So whether it’s through focusing on your breath, chanting a mantra, or following a guided meditation, you have the power to significantly reduce stress in your life. 

But how do you incorporate this practice into your life?

A great place to start is the Mindvalley app. And you can use it in these two ways:

  • You can access a few meditation tracks for free when you sign up for a Mindvalley account. Every day, there’s a rotation of meditations you can try, including those for stress relief.
  • You can also access a complete library of meditations when you become a Mindvalley Member with a paid membership. You can explore meditations that’ll help you achieve your goals, meditations in different languages, and even curated series like that from The Monroe Institute and from various Mindvalley authors.

Remember, the aim is not to completely get rid of stress but to learn how to manage it effectively. Much like our Mindvalley Members:

Before [The Silva Ultramind System Quest with Vishen], I was always stressed out and anxious. This quest showed me how to meditate, which is awesome! The mental screen technique is so powerful, and I treated my multi-drug-resistant UTI with it. 

I want to continually evolve and make some meaningful contribution to the world. 

I feel more confident and ready for my life’s journey.

Dr. Ritu Dabas, internal medicine physician; San Jose, United States

With patience, practice, and consistency, meditation can be a powerful ally in your life. 

It’s like what Paul McKenna says: “If you don’t take responsibility for programming yourself, then someone else will.”

Welcome in.

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Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. She brings a wealth of experience in writing and storytelling to her work, honed through her background in journalism. Drawing on her years in spa and wellness and having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Picture of Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. She brings a wealth of experience in writing and storytelling to her work, honed through her background in journalism. Drawing on her years in spa and wellness and having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Vishen, founder & CEO of Mindvalley
Expertise by

Vishen is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, New York Times best-selling author, and founder and CEO of Mindvalley: a global education movement with millions of students worldwide. He is the creator of Mindvalley Quests, A-Fest, Mindvalley University, and various other platforms to help shape lives in the field of personal transformation. He has led Mindvalley to enter and train Fortune 500 companies, governments, the UN, and millions of people around the world. Vishen’s work in personal growth also extends to the public sector, as a speaker and activist working to evolve the core systems that influence our lives—including education, work culture, politics, and well-being.

Sonia Choquette
Expertise by

Sonia Choquette is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Sixth Sense Superpower Quest. An internationally renowned author of 27 bestselling books translated into 37 languages, Sonia is the world’s foremost expert on how to jumpstart your intuition and ignite your creativity so that you can reach your full, glorious potential—making decisions confidently and moving effortlessly toward your destiny.

Emily Fletcher - Trainer
Expertise by

Emily Fletcher is the trainer of Mindvalley’s The M Word Quest. As one of the world’s leading experts in meditation for heightened performance and one of the top 100 women in wellness to watch, she has been featured on The New York Times, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Vogue, and ABC, and shared her life-changing meditative practices at Apple, Google, and Harvard Business School. Teaching 40,000 people the skill of meditation, she is also well-known as a successful international speaker and author. Her best-selling book, “Stress Less, Accomplish More,” hit #7 on Amazon and was translated into 12 languages.

Paul McKenna
Expertise by

Paul McKenna, Ph.D., is the trainer for Mindvalley’s Everyday Bliss and Total Self-Confidence Quests, as well as the Mindvalley Certified Hypnotherapist program. Having helped millions of people successfully quit smoking, lose weight, overcome insomnia, eliminate stress, and increase self-confidence., Dr. McKenna was named by The London Times as one of the world’s leading and most important modern gurus, alongside Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama. He has also worked his unique brand of personal transformation with Hollywood movie stars, Olympic gold medalists, rock stars, leading business achievers, and royalty.

How we reviewed this article
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

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Fact-Checking: Our Process

Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.