Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

3 Enjoyable Stress Reducers

Does life become more complex for you when September rolls around?

I know it does for me. But I plan to beat the stress before it beats me! You can too.

Here are three highly enjoyable and effective relaxation CD’s that I’ve personally used to dissolve stress. They are valuable elements in my stress first-aid kit.

1. Body Scan Meditation

The voice guiding you on this CD is Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founder of the medical school’s world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic.  The clinic has helped thousands of people address the impact of stress especially in the context of illness and chronic pain.

The full CD set constitutes the core curriculum – called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction – of the clinic. You can achieve the same benefits at home without having to travel miles to a stress reduction clinic.

“This is the first guided meditation program that people use in the Stress Reduction Clinic. The body scan is a closely guided journey through your body as you bring moment-to-moment awareness to every region in turn, starting with the toes of the left foot. It is done lying on your back if possible. Through regular practice, it can help you to enter and explore deep states of relaxation, become much more intimate and accepting of your body as it is, learn to work effectively with body sensations and feelings of discomfort and pain, and cultivate increasing powers of concentration (one-pointed attention) and mindfulness (a flexible, moment-to-moment, non-judging awareness).”

The Body Scan Meditation (45 minutes) is the first in a set of 4 CDs.  The set also includes:

  • CD 2: Mindful Yoga 1    45 minutes
  • CD 3: Sitting Meditation    45 minutes
  • CD 4: Mindful Yoga 2    45 minutes

These CD’s (also available in audio tape format) are meant to be used in conjunction with Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s book, Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness, which provides detailed instructions on all these topics. The CD’s are only available as a complete set for $30.00 and the set does not include the book.

Since I’ve only used the Body Scan Meditation, I can’t personally report on the entire series. However, I give a hearty thumbs up to the Body Scan Meditation and the book Full Catastrophe Living.

2.The Bone Dreaming Meditation

This CD features the beautiful voice of Gilles Marin, with his delightful French accent. Gilles is a long-time student of Taoist master Mantak Chia and Director of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Oakland, California.

The CD contains two different meditations – The Bone Dream Meditation and the Bone Breathing Meditation.  These gentle meditations originated in the Taoist monasteries of China thousands of years ago.  I’ve used the Bone Dreaming Meditation many times to help me successfully fall into a deep and replenishing sleep.  The Bone Dreaming Meditation is especially designed to:

“…induce sleep and/or a deep sense of relaxation. It is highly recommended for people with a high stress level, hypertension, breathing difficulties, joint and nerve pain, bone deterioration, low vitality, spastic muscles, etc., and anyone just wanting to be able to relax deeper and enjoy a more satisfying sleep without experiencing the side effects of drugs. This practice has a profound healing effect.”

The single CD with both meditations costs $15.

3. Sounds of Nature

If you search online for “sounds of nature” you will find a vast number of CD’s that feature a variety of nature sounds. Ocean waves, chirping frogs, tropical rainforests, thunderstorms, songbirds, Humpback whales, forest serenades – the options are almost unlimited.  They are all designed to help you relax into a more peaceful and serene state.

You can sample recordings online at Amazon or Target. You want to be sure that there are no potentially irritating sounds. For example, ocean waves may include gull sounds, which I don’t find relaxing at all.

Thunderstorms are my favorite.  Unlike the longer meditations above, the sounds of nature can be used for a short pick me up when you only have 10 or 15 minutes between activities.  It’s wonderful when we can get out into nature to experience it’s full range of benefits.  But since that’s not always possible, these CDs are a terrific alternative.

Costs varies from $6 – 15$

Chronic stress has many ill effects. I invite you to break the stress habit before it breaks you!

What’s in your stress first-aid kit this September?

[Note:  I don’t receive compensation for recommending these items.]

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks very much! Sandra

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23 Comments

  1. Dear Sandra,

    I love this list. And as you know, it comes at a REALLY good time for me with SO much going on in my life. I am very intrigued by the bone dream meditation and am already looking at that page. It sounds really good for me. I was just talking with Jonathan Wells about stress and things that help during stressful times. I do a form of Chi Gung, but lately I’ve been too tired to do more than just lay flat on the floor and let everything go. So I am thinking that this Bone Dream might be just perfect for the times I need to relax, but am too spent to do more than lay still.

    I also forgot that I have a lot of nature-sound CDs that I’ve never used, that I could haul out. I too like them very undisturbed (gulls – which I love but not always on a CD) 🙂 What a great idea. And here’s me the Nature girl LOL!! and I didn’t even think of that. I guess I tend to associate Nature with being outdoors. Early this AM my husband and I went part way up a small mt. trail only about a mile, but we stopped at one point and just stood listening to the wind through the ponderosa pines. It was so hauntingly beautiful. It just “stilled” everything in me. Even brought tears to my eyes. It was so soothing.

    Thank you SO much for posting this now when I needed it.
    I am so glad you did.
    Love,
    Robin

  2. Robin,

    So happy that you resonate with this list and the timing is perfect for you! I think you would really love the Bone Dreaming/Breathing meditation. It’s profoundly healing beyond relaxation, which is good in and of itself!

    Nature is so soothing! Hope you can find a moment to haul out a few of those nature CDs.

    Sending you good vibes for a successful and sane book launch time. I’m so proud of you. You are a beautiful human being.

  3. Isn’t it amazing how the voice — human or otherwise — can set us at ease when used with the right intention? Whether it’s for guided meditation or a business meeting 😉 or talking to your children, the voice is a powerful tool.

    I’ll have to see if I can get these through our inter-library loan system.

    As for nature, I’ll try to experience that ‘live’ in any form I can… Be well!

    • Bill,

      What a great point about the power of the voice! Thanks for the reminder that we can also obtain these from a library. I love libraries!

  4. I am in definite need of stress reducers with the transition to fall. Thank you so much for this list. I find that time alone -breathing and checking in-works for me. All of these wonderful ideas will compliment that nicely.

    • Lori, It’s so funny how difficult it can be to allow us time alone – even just a few moments – when we need it the most in stressful times. These are wonderful, simple, and free ways to change the stress pattern. My reminder for today is: breathe! Thanks so much for adding these to the list.

  5. Sandra,

    I like John Kab1at Zinn. Once at a Hilton hotel on the pillow was a sleep CD. Hubs and I have both used that to fall asleep instantly. We never even get to the middle.

    In my kit for Sept? Yeah cooler weather in AZ. means hiking and running. I go back to walking early morning from June through August and it’s so refreshing for me to hike and I’ve been a runner for 25 plus years.

    • Hi Tess,

      I love hearing about the hotel with the sleep CD. Now that’s wonderful care! Yeah for cooler weather and the return to hiking and running. I’ve enjoyed the lovely photos of you on hikes on your blog. 🙂

  6. Looks like we are thinking about the Fall and Holiday schedules — We just posted on the same topic! I’ve also been thinking lately about some CD meditations — your list will come in very handy! Looked around your site for the first time and really like it. Will put link on ours.

    • Welcome Happiness and Wisdom!

      Oh goodness, I’m not even thinking that far ahead into Fall and the Holidays – I’m just thinking this week! Great tips in your blog post on the same topic. Thanks for your kind words. Look forward to exploring your blog.

  7. Sandra,
    You have got to know I love this post so very much! Because for some reason, you always share things I dont know about…like for example…in this post…I didnt know the first 2 cds you mentioned, but now I do(ThankYOu). The Sounds of Nature though..is my all time favorite. I can drift onto lovely beautiful beaches while listening to it.
    Babe…every post of yours ….you keep getting better and better 🙂 You are on an awesome Roll…:) Me love it.
    Hugs,
    Z~

    • Zeenat,

      Thank you for your sweet words of appreciation. They mean so much to me! And they inspire me to spread appreciation to others. You are a great inspiration, Zeenat.

      I’m with you – sounds of nature rock!

  8. Hi Sandra,

    I think meditation is one fo the best things we can do to relieve stress. Thanks for the list you have provided.

    • Welcome Dia,

      I agree wholeheartedly. Meditation is a wonderful way to relieve stress! Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it so much.

  9. Another great way to end stress is to listen to classical music. Something like this can definitely change the pace of your thoughts and make you feel better about yourself.

    OR!

    You can alway watch an Adam Sandler movie. Can’t go wrong with that!

  10. Sounds have always remained in my top-list. I have a great love for the music and sounds. I love singing too.

    SO…The third one, ‘sounds of nature’ is the one I switch on to in the stressful conditions.
    I do believe in meditation in reducing stress.
    Lovely post.

    Thanks.

  11. Hello Sangita,

    I wish I could sing like you! Singing itself is a wonderful way to transform energy. Sadly, I can’t carry a tune at all. I love the sounds of nature too. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I will have to try one of those “sounds of nature” ones. I’ve tried a few of the guided meditation CDs before but gave up on them. They tend to disturb me instead of relax me for some reason I can’t fathom.

    • We’re all different, that’s for sure. I really connect to the sense of sound far more than vision, for example. You know yourself best! Don’t want any disturbed inner channels. 🙂

  13. I am working on my meditation techniques, and it is definitely helping! I may have to try out one of your resources above. Sounds of Nature sounds like something I would like!

    Another thing I am doing is working to simplify my life. It seems a bit overwhelming if you look at everything in your life at one time, but I am trying to choose a few things at a time to work on. Currently working on cutting back on my commitments and purging some of my unnecessary belongings. Clearing some of my bookshelves and selling boxes of books on Amazon!

    Bernice

    • Bernice, That is truly sage advice – to go about the process of simplifying in a simple, no stress way. I will definitely keep that in mind. I’m glad you found a way to move forward that is serving you so well. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I really appreciate it.

  14. Hi Sandra,
    Greetings again – this time from your site. Happy to be here – I’ve subscribed so I’ll be up to date. Couldn’t agree more about Jon Kabat Zinn. Loved Full Catastrophe book & his meditation CD’s, esp the body scan.

    I’ve been lucky enough to hear him in person a few times. My introduction to meditation, in the early 80’s, was a weekend Intro to Meditation at Omega with Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman & Jon Kabat Zinn!

    I look forward to getting to know you better,
    Eileen

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