I have been using meditation for stress for many years.
It’s kept me balanced through some very difficult times, and has improved my happiness and overall well-being.
Starting around the 1970’s, people began to research this simple practice as a way to reduce stress both physically and mentally.
Meditating on a regular basis gives you a sense of calmness and peace which cannot be described, but must be experienced for his/herself.
Those who choose to add this discipline to their daily routine are progressively able to handle crises and pressure much better as a result.
The effect is similar to a vacation for your mind:)
When you become internally “stuffed” by information overload, you can retreat through meditation to a stress-free zone…and come away feeling totally refreshed!
What Is Meditation?
A large portion of modern society has a misunderstanding of what meditation really is.
It may seem like you are doing it, when all you are actually accomplishing is sitting still and daydreaming for a brief period of time.
Let me see if I can clear this up a bit…
- The act of focusing one’s attention for a predetermined length of time on something other than your random thoughts.
- Slowing down the mind of its usual constant chatter.
- Acquiring an attitude of non-attachment to the thoughts, perceptions, and physical sensations which may arise during a session (It’s kind of like “letting go,” in other words).
- Total relaxation of the body
Isn’t it nice knowing we have the choice to consciously provoke the benefits of meditation?
A Powerful Tool For Demolishing Stress
The “relaxed state” is the total opposite of the state of arousal, and relaxation through meditation can help decrease limbic activity.
Without getting too technical, the limbic systems of the brain control our sleep cycles, sexual drive, instinctive feelings, and our moods.
An abundance of activity in this region of the brain can hinder our immune function.
This build up of tension also overstimulates the sympathetic nervous system as well as the adrenal glands, which subsequently contributes to chronic stress.
Aaaah, now it’s all coming together!
Just meditating for 15 minutes per day can help:
- slow down your heart rate and lower blood pressure
- decrease the amount of oxygen your body consumes
- reduce your arousal threshold
While there are other ways to activate a “relaxation response” such as Qigong, Tai Chi, and Yoga, none are as simple as this ancient art.
With such a small financial investment required to experience life-changing results, it’s no wonder meditation has become one of the leading alternative therapies for better health the natural way!
Sit, Breathe, Be Still
Now I’d like to share some basic instructions on how to meditate.
If you’ve never tried it before, you will probably be surprised at how easy it really is.
There are no magic words or mystical connotations here, so if you were expecting that I’m sorry to disappoint you. LOL
Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. If you are flexible or have taken some yoga classes, you can sit cross-legged or in a “lotus” position.
I’ve always done fine, however, sitting in a chair with my back straight:)
Begin by just relaxing and following the in and out movement of your breathe through your nostrils. You can also repeat a word or phrase if it helps you focus better, like om or amen…
Thoughts and feelings will continually interrupt your attention, but that’s alright. Don’t fight it, just watch them rise like bubbles and slowly drift away. Bring your attention back to your breathing.
Practice for 10-15 minutes daily for a few weeks, then gradually increase the time.
After awhile you should start to notice some improvements in the way you feel and think.
Your concentration will get better, and you will become more relaxed than you’ve been in a long, long time.
Normal pressures and stressful situations won’t knock you off balance as they’ve done in the past.
As your practice progresses, these sessions will be like a daily tune-up for your body, mind and soul!
With each passing year, society seems to get more complex and challenging.
This is natural, as evolution continually utilizes the tools of imagination and vision to expand man’s boundaries in this world.
It can be hard to keep up for some individuals. Therefore, it has become vitally important to learn techniques and methods that will help us adapt to these changes.
I have been talking about the use of meditation for stress, by far my favorite way to ward off any negative thoughts, emotions, or physical discomforts.
Remember, it’s not always about the amount of time we have in this life, but how much life we put into that time!
Relax and enjoy…