If stress has you feeling worried and anxious, then it is time to take a meditation break. We live in a fast paced world. You are taught that you never do enough or never have enough. This leaves you feeling depleted, and like you can never get ahead.
What if I told you to stop and do nothing for 10 minutes? You would probably think I am crazy. But, that is exactly what meditation is. This is good for your brain and your overall health. Children will play until they are exhausted, and their parent makes them stop and go to bed. As an adult you have no one to stop you. This means you must stop yourself.
Sometimes, you feel if you have nothing to do that something is wrong. That is not the case. Remember, there is always tomorrow and the work will always be there. I want you to stop what you are doing right now, and take a deep breath. Slowly inhale and slowly exhale to the count of five. Try it again. Do it for 10 minutes. Make sure to clear your mind. If thoughts come up, don’t judge them just let them float away.
Here are 5 ways meditation helps in reducing stress:
- Meditation makes it alright to do nothing. You don’t always have to be doing something. When was the last time you sat in your backyard and did absolutely nothing? You don’t need to feel guilty when you do nothing, either. Meditation is the art of doing nothing. All you have to do is breathe.
- Meditation helps bring inner peace. When you meditate you are more relaxed. You will not be so hard on yourself or others. When you feel criticized your first response won’t be to defend yourself. Instead, you will learn to take responsibility. This can help change your mind set. I have practiced meditating for many years. Over the years I have seen a huge change in my mind set. I no longer feel defensive and it has helped to get through difficult times in life, that I never could of predicted.
- Meditation can help keep you focused. Everybody wants to be productive these days. There are many things going on in the office. You may sit in a cube where you can hear everyone around you. The guy next to you has an argument with his wife on the phone. You didn’t want to hear every last detail of it, but you did. You have your computer and you sit under fluorescent light. All of this takes away from your focus. When you meditate it slows down your heart rate. This will allow you to focus more easily, and will make your more productive in the long run.
- Meditation helps reduce anxiety and depression. Studies have shown meditation helps manage anxiety and depression. Neither of these disorders come with a simple fix. You need to do more than just take a pill. Add meditation to your lifestyle. This will help you feel better about yourself. While you are at it, add a positive affirmation to your meditation practice. One of my favorites is, ‘I am enough.’
- Meditation quiets the mind. It will help you stop overthinking. What fuels anxiety is anxious thoughts. You are worried about the future or you can’t let go of the past. All this does is keep you stuck. Stay in the present. When you no longer spend your time worrying, you will stop overthinking.
We have all felt anxious at one time or another in our life. Maybe, you have a big exam or you will be moving. Some anxiety is normal, it’s when you worry about everything or can’t shut your mind off that it is a problem. Meditation will help you feel happier. It will also help when times get tough.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA. She uses meditation and mindfulness in her practice, to help her clients slow down and enjoy the process of life. For a free 15 minute phone consultation or more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or Lianne@LessonsforLove.com.