Some time ago, I wrote a post about using meditation for stress relief. What I have read recently has given me some new thoughts on the subject. The old post talked about the fact that although meditation can be a very effective and pleasant solution to the stress problem, it is not a quick fix.
If you go for a traditional meditation practice, it takes time to learn. You can probably find a class locally, as I did, but then you have to commit to going along regularly. This takes up more of your time, which may have been part of the problem in the first place.
I also found that the results you achieve in the tranquil setting provided for these classes, and with the guidance of a teacher, are hard to replicate when you at home alone. It may take years of practice to be able to do this. I then went on to talk about the many technological solutions that are now available.
There are several different audio programs that use binaural beats and other technologies to put your brain into the kind of states you are trying to achieve through meditation. The difference is that they do it automatically.
I have been a long term user of one of these programs and have used some of the others too. I compared some of them in the previous post. But some thing that I read recently made me realize that I didn’t get across the important distinction between them.
I have been using the program from the Centerpointe Research Institute. It is a long term program requiring a commitment to daily use over a number of years to get the real benefits from it.
I compared this to the Totally Tranquil program from Holothink. This will also give you greater benefits with regular usage but there is no requirement to do this. Also, if you don’t have the full 45 minutes available when you do use it, you can stop earlier. That is OK.
They even provide a 10 minute quick relaxation track for when you really need it. I was talking about these two programs as an aid to relaxation and the relief of stress. I did say that Holothink is the better option for this but I now realize why.
The two programs are fundamentally different in their aims. Think of Centerpointe as your annual gym membership and Holothink as your day at the spa.
The Centerpointe program works on your brain in the way that weights work on your muscles. It is designed to gently overwhelm you so that your brain rewires itself to be able to cope next time. Except that as you work through the levels, it is forced to work harder.
In this way, your threshold for what you can handle being thrown at you is gradually increased. Eventually, things that would have seemed like big problems before just don’t bother you anymore.
It is a quicker and more assured way to achieve this than traditional meditation provides, but it still takes several years. I now realize that it is not appropriate to talk about it in terms of quick stress relief. It doesn’t provide a solution to the stress you are feeling today after a hard day at work.
Totally Tranquil is a far better option for that, not to mention, very much cheaper. It is also one of the better programs I have tried. It is by no means the only one out there and there are certainly other good ones available.
Far from being an either or situation, I use the two programs alongside each other for different reasons. If you are looking for quick stress relief, try Totally Tranquil. Find out if works for you, for free!