If you’re stressed out and you’re looking for ways to relax, it may be a good idea to meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. Transcendental meditation, in particular, is a stress reduction technique even for A-list celebrities like Adam Levine and Jennifer Aniston.
Michael Mitchell, a statistician for the Veterans Health Administration, went to the emergency room in 2005 thinking that he had a heart attack. It turned out to be GERD. It was a wakeup call for him. He has a type A personality so he’s a workaholic. He knew that he has to make changes in his lifestyle, so he attended psychotherapy sessions and started to exercise regularly. He also read books about happiness and began to practice meditation. After a month, his blood pressure returned to normal and he felt more relaxed.
Benefits of Meditation
Various studies show that regular practice of meditation does not only lower blood pressure but also improve the function of your immune system, so regular practice of meditation helps ward off common colds and other diseases.
Meditation also improves your ability to concentrate. If you have a problem focusing on a certain task, it’s a good idea to practice meditation.
According to Charles L. Raison, MD, a clinical director at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, meditation improves one’s emotional responses to stress. It helps control the symptoms of arthritis, skin conditions, asthma and heart disease by switching off the stress response. Studies also show that meditation can improve the symptoms of psoriasis.
Meditation also relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as constipation, diarrhea and bloating. It also improves fertility and promotes emotional balance. Meditation helps cleanse emotionally soaked memories, so it helps you let go of your painful past and just focus on the future.
Meditation can also help to be happy.
Meditation as a Stress Reduction Tool
As mentioned earlier, meditation triggers a relaxed response to stress. When we are exposed to stress, we often have a “fight or flight” response. People call this the adrenaline rush. Stress helps release the hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenaline glands. This leads to increased blood pressure and pulse rate. When you meditate regularly, your body will develop an opposite response to the “fight or flight” response. So, practicing meditation regularly can lower blood pressure, enhance mood, and reduce stress.
There are several types of meditation that you can practice. You can practice mindfulness meditation or mantra meditation. You can simply stare at a candle flame for minutes or simply count your breaths, but the practice of meditation is not easy especially for those who have untrained minds. It’s best to attend meditation classes. You can check out affordable meditation classes in HMOs, local college, or community centers.
Like Mitchell, you can practice meditation every morning by sitting on a bench in your room or in a garden. Practicing meditation for at least 20 minutes a day will allow you to control your emotions so you’ll no longer allow little things to get under your skin.