So you’re stressed out. Kids screaming, finals approaching, boss calling…and you have no idea what to do to regain your center. With all the self grounding methods available to choose from, the key is to find something to help you calm down and not to add to your overwhelm.
Studies have shown that two methods have been found to be helpful when dealing with overwhelming feelings: meditation and relaxation techniques. That said, while each has a positive effect on a person who is in a state of “confusion”, a mindfulness meditation practice has an added benefit.
According to this Suite 101 post from Martin Bohm (via two cited studies), relaxation techniques and mindfulness meditation and both offer stress reduction assistance. Mindfulness meditation, however, seems to have the specific ability of reducing distractive and ruminative thinking.
Although mindfulness meditation has frequently been shown to reduce stress and other symptoms such as anxiety, depression and the effects of chronic pain and illness, little is known about its efficacy compared to other forms of stress management, such as relaxation techniques. The two following studies have compared these two methods. They found that while both techniques work equally well for reducing distress, mindfulness meditation has an additional advantage.
Read more about the effectiveness of a mindfulness meditation practice versus relaxation techniques here.