The Positive Effects of Meditation in a Stressful World
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and was originally practiced to help a person deepen their understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. In today’s stressful world, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health. You can also use it to relax and cope with stress by refocusing your attention. Meditation can help you learn to stay centered and maintain a sense of inner peace.
And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day. And meditation may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions.
10 Ways That Meditation Promotes Emotional and Physical Well-Being
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional and physical benefits of meditation include:
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
- Building skills to manage your stress
- Increasing self-awareness
- Focusing on the present
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increasing imagination and creativity
- Increasing patience and tolerance
- Lowering resting heart rate
- Lowering resting blood pressure
- Improving sleep quality
Elements of Meditation That Help Reduce Stress
• Focused attention Focusing your attention is generally one of the most important elements of meditation. Focusing your attention is what helps free your mind from the many distractions that cause stress and worry. You can focus your attention on such things as a specific object, an image, a mantra, or even your breathing.
• Relaxed breathing This technique involves deep, even-paced breathing using the diaphragm muscle to expand your lungs. The purpose is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen, and reduce the use of shoulder, neck and upper chest muscles while breathing so that you breathe more efficiently.
• A quiet setting If you’re a beginner, practicing meditation may be easier if you’re in a quiet spot with few distractions, including no television, radios or cellphones. As you get more skilled at meditation, you may be able to do it anywhere, especially in high-stress situations where you benefit the most from meditation, such as a traffic jam, a stressful work meeting or a long line at the grocery store.
• A comfortable position You can practice meditation whether you’re sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions or activities. Just try to be comfortable so that you can get the most out of your meditation. Aim to keep good posture during meditation.
• Open attitude. Let thoughts pass through your mind without judgment. Take this time to allow yourself to freely let thoughts come into your mind and allow them to pass without an emotional response.
Everyday Ways to Practice Meditation
Don’t let the thought of meditating the “right” way add to your stress. If you choose to, you can attend special meditation centers or group classes led by trained instructors. But you can also practice meditation easily on your own. Or you may find apps to use, too.
And you can make meditation as formal or informal as you like, however it suits your lifestyle and situation. Some people build meditation into their daily routine. For example, they may start and end each day with an hour of meditation. But all you really need is a few minutes of quality time for meditation.
Come join me on my next retreat to practice meditation learn more about how it can help reduce stress and increase your overall health. Click the link to learn more about my cleansing retreats—renew your mind, body, soul, and spirit!