Melinda Hany, Registered Nurse
Stress is a very common problem. It can leave you feeling tense and worried. Whether it is physical or emotional stress, it can significantly impact your quality of life. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce stress.
If you can't separate yourself from the cause of stress in your life, meditation is one of the best ways to help you cope with it in a healthier way.
Meditation is an old practice dating back to as early as 5000 BC. So, it is a practice with several actual results. This article will teach you what meditation is, its purpose, its benefits, and how to get started.
Meditation is the art of putting the body in a state of deep relaxation. It involves using physical and mental techniques to focus and clear the mind. Meditating aims to train your mind to improve focus, attention, and awareness as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
Meditation is an umbrella term for many ways to put the body in a relaxed state. As such, meditation can come in many forms, such as yoga, Qigong, mantra meditation, mindfulness, tai chi, etc.
Irrespective of the type of meditation you practice, consistently practicing it offers several psychological benefits which improve your quality of life.
If you are wondering what benefits meditation has to offer, here are some:
One of the main benefits of meditating is that it relieves stress. When you center your focus, you can take your mind off whatever issue might be causing you stress. “Regular meditation can help you be able to see stressful, anxious thoughts for what they are — temporary feelings that will soon pass. When you’re more able to understand stress is transient, your overall stress level can decrease significantly,” notes Melinda Hany, Registered Nurse.
Meditating helps you relax, clears the mind of negative thoughts, and thus promotes better sleep. Meditating also helps promote better sleep because stress is one of the main deterrents to sleep since you can hone your mind's ability to focus, and when it's bedtime, you wouldn't have to deal with unnecessary thoughts creeping on you or keeping you awake.
Meditating is the way forward to build up your tolerance and patience. Some meditation sessions can last for hours, which helps you develop a better tolerance for stressful situations. “It also helps you be more forgiving, both toward yourself and others,” adds Hany.
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Meditation also helps to deal with negative emotions. Meditation takes discipline that gives you the will to control your thoughts better. So, even when you are experiencing challenges in life, your response to the situation will be more positive. “Sticking with something, like a regular meditation schedule, also helps build your self-esteem,” Hany adds.
The pulse rate is the frequency of your heartbeat. The normal pulse rate is about 60 to 100 beats per minute. If your pulse rate gets high excessively, it poses a lot of risk to your health. For example, your pulse rate increases after receiving bad news or when you are in a stressful situation, and you need to find a way to normalize it. Thankfully, when you meditate, it can calm you down and reduce your pulse rate.
Because mediation helps reduce pulse rate, it also helps to normalize blood pressure. If you are feeling symptoms of your blood pressure getting high, such as dizziness, blurry vision, a headache, and so on, meditation can help normalize things. Even though meditation helps to temporarily reduce blood pressure, you must schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to examine yourself to ensure all is well.
If you have a headache, meditating is a quick way to relieve it. Meditating reduces the stress the brain goes through, thus relieving you of the tension headache. “It can also help remind you to relax your shoulders and jaw, which can contribute to frequent tension headaches,” says Hany.
Also, meditation helps you become more aware of yourself. You tend to pay more attention to yourself and your well-being. Since you can clear your mind and not get too preoccupied with life issues, you become more self-aware. “Physical self-awareness can also help you identify potential health problems in their early stages,” Hany highlights.
Meditating also helps you clear your mind, so you can be more creative. If you are experiencing creativity blocks, meditating can help you see things from a different perspective.
To get started with meditation, first, you must ensure you are in the right environment, a quiet setting. Next, focus your attention on the most important element of the meditation. Take deep, relaxing breaths using your diaphragm. Reduce the use of your upper chest, neck, or shoulder muscles to take in more oxygen.
Ensure you are in a comfortable position when meditating. You can try several positions, but aim to maintain a good posture during the meditation. Finally, open your thoughts and allow them to pass your mind without judgment.
It may initially seem strange to you if it is your first time meditating. It helps if you have a guide to ensure you are doing things right. Remember, the key to benefiting from meditation is consistency, which takes discipline.
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