Is the stress of life getting you down? It may surprise your how much of an impact stress can have on your health and wellness. Try meditation to reduce stress and improve wellness.
Being healthy is so much more than just eating right and exercising, although that is a large part of it. Many times we find that our busy lives and high stress levels negatively affect our wellbeing. We often find it difficult to take a few minutes each day to rest our minds and find the peace that so many of us crave.
Studies have proven that chronic stress may be linked to many physical illnesses and can negatively affect our mental health.
- 43% of adults experienced adverse health effects from stress
- 75-90% of visits to a physician’s office are for stress-related conditions and complaints
- Stress has been linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. Developing the ability to relax is essential to effectively mitigating the impacts of stress and anxiety.
With all of our duties and responsibilities, how can we relax and enjoy life’s simple moments? Meditation may be the answer.
Meditation has been used for years as a way to increase calmness as well as to physically relax. Meditation is a combination of the mind and body working together. The purpose of meditation is to find peace and calm our minds. According to the National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, there are numerous types of meditation, but most have four common elements:
- A quiet location with few distractions
- A comfortable position (sitting, lying down, walking)
- A focus of attention on something specific
- An open attitude to let distractions come and go without judgment
There are numerous benefits to meditation. It: calms, restores, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, frees our mind from worries, helps us focus on happiness, creates a more stable mood, increases our control over life’s situations, decreases muscle tension, helps with weight loss, enhances energy levels, improves memory, gives greater tolerance, gives deeper spirituality, slows the aging process, and helps to put things in perspective.
Learning to relax through meditation is a skill that takes time and practice. Try watching this YouTube video to learn how to meditate in 5 easy steps.
There are a wide range of meditation techniques to choose from. Take time to explore different methods, and find what works best for you. There are a plethora of online resources and apps that can guide you. Dedicate 10 minutes each day to finding a quiet space to relax. Discover what works for you and learn ways to relax and reflect on the positive things in your life. Life is too short to spend time on negative thoughts.
Find your peaceful place!
This article was written by Cindy Nelson, Utah State University Extension assistant professor