We’re not experts on meditation. That being said, here is an introduction to meditation as a stress reducer and mind settler.
Research has shown that meditation can erase stress and anxiety, improve memory, mental focus and clarity. Anyone can practice meditation – it’s simple, inexpensive and requires no special equipment or location.
We have grown accustomed to the daily onslaught of sensory input and having our brains in constant ‘thinking mode’. Think about your morning routine – you turn on the TV or radio to hear the news and weather, you check email, you check a schedule with a million things to get done before you leave the house, you make breakfast, glance at the newspaper, make a few new ‘to do’ lists – you get the picture. This creates stress and anxiety.
Meditation is a technique of focusing. There are many different versions of the technique with different philosophies but basically it involves concentration on your breath and either a word or an object. Meditation allows the mind to become settled and peaceful.
A few guidelines common to most meditation techniques:
- Meditate every day, preferable at the same time
- Sit with your spine straight and vertical
- Choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted
- Choose a word or an object upon which to focus
- Be aware of your breathing
- Keep thoughts about anything other than your word or object out of your mind
Even a few minutes a day is beneficial, but even time for a short meditation can be difficult to find. It takes a commitment, and it’s worth it.
Check out Andy Puddicomb’s program, Headspace, there’s even an app for your smart phone Andy is Britain’s meditation guru.
ASE has a recent article about The Most Stressed Out Age Group in America. Make sure you send this to those you think need a little chill.
*This article has been updated for accuracy, June 2019