Our busy and hectic lives keep us constantly on the move through a stressful world. Regular stress reduction is a key part of living a healthy whole life. Meditation is one tool we can use to help us manage and move better through our busy lives.
Why do we need to work on stress reduction? Sure, we like to relax and unwind with a glass of wine or watching mindless tv. Those activities, while enjoyable, do not lower the impact of stress on the body. It is important to do planned regular stress reduction to help relieve our nervous system. Chronic stress can cause issues with the endocrine system, cardiovascular health, digestion, sexual/reproductive system, and immune system. Regular meditation can improve mood, concentration, sleep, pain, blood pressure and much more.
So, what is meditation? Meditation is a practice of focused consciousness or thought. During meditation, you clear your mind and let the world around you come and go without thinking about it. Meditation dates back thousands of years. There are many types of meditation. Some commonly known types are guided meditation, mantra meditation and mindfulness meditation. Tai Chi and yoga are examples of physical meditation. Prayer, reading poems or sacred text are also considered to be meditation.
Meditation can be done anywhere. A fancy meditation room and a ton of time are not needed to get benefits from meditation. You literally can do it anywhere. Once during a stressful doctor’s visit, I did some breathing work (with the help of the Headspace app) while waiting on the doctor to come back into the exam room. It immediately calmed me and lowered my anxiety in a stressful moment.
An easy way to start is to use an app like Headspace or Calm and follow their guided meditations. They give you all the how-to’s. Also, click here for instructions from the Chopra Meditation Center.
For more ideas and information, check out the resources below.
Calm and Headspace Apps