Meditation is a great tool for stress management and for improving one’s overall quality of life. Often in our busy lives it is hard to break the cycle of stress, but meditation is a powerful tool that can help one become more present and calmer.
During meditation, you focus your attention on your breath and on quieting your thoughts that might be causing stress. Spending even a few minutes of meditation can help restore your calm and inner peace, resulting in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.
Research shows that there are numerous benefits of practicing meditation from cultivating mindfulness, to improving one’s emotional and physical health. The following are specific benefits of meditation:
¦ Reduced stress and improved health: According to research there is a strong link between meditation and overall health, especially in its ability to help reduce stress. Studies have shown that meditating regularly promotes relaxation and can decrease the risk of developing chronic illnesses. It helps in lowering anxiety and stimulates the vagus nerve, which calms the nervous system. A Harvard study revealed that meditation of only 10 minutes daily provides benefits such as decreased blood pressure, heart rate, and an overall sense of calm. Meditation also improves immunity and lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone that is produced with increased stress.
¦ Improved mood: Meditation has numerous mental health benefits. It does wonders for anxiety and depression. Research also shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to improve mood. It clears your mind and is an effective way to improve happiness. People who meditate regularly also show increased gray matter in the brain’s hippocampus, responsible for memory.
If stress and the feeling of being overwhelmed has you anxious and tense, consider trying meditation. So how does one cultivate the habit of meditating regularly? There are several methods from guided meditations, apps and to simply focus on the breath. Breathing in for a count of 4, holding for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 4 is one method. Then become aware of your five senses to really allow yourself to be in the present moment. You can also practice meditation wherever you are, whether you’re out for a walk, or even in the middle of heavy traffic.
From relaxation of the nervous system to better focus, improved mood, decreased inflammation, decreased risk of chronic illnesses, and overall better health, it pays to make meditation part of your routine. ¦
— Dr. Samreen Mongillo is a Success Coach and also has her doct orate in physical therapy. She teaches her clients how to manage stress and anxiety and can be reached at www.Coachingbysamreen.com.