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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