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Meditation is ideal for stress management

19 May, 2014

When it comes to managing the stresses of every day life, meditation can go a long way towards controlling them. Meditation offers a huge range of benefits, helping you to sleep, lower stress and keep focus. Taking time out each day to meditate can:

Lower the stress hormone Cortisol: A recent study in the journal Health Psychology revealedthat mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Add to this lower anxiety, and you have a proven method for lowering stress.

Give you clarity: Meditation can help you to look beyond rose-coloured glasses and see situations for what they really are. It helps us to objectively analyse ourselves and conquer common ‘blind spots’.

Improve cognitive function: Meditation can help you to keep focused on studies and improve working memory, making exams and presentations easier.

Protect against mental illness: Meditation can result in brain changes that potentially protect against certain mental illness. Meditation increases signalling connections in the brain and increases protective tissue around the axons.

Make you a better person: Meditation helps you to be more compassionate, a better listener and more willing to take part in “do-good” behaviour.

Help you sleep: When you feel stressed, sleeping can be a problem. The higher the mindfulness, the less active your mind is at bedtime. This results in better sleep quality. Meditation helps you to control emotion and moods and prepares you for sleep.

While the benefits are plenty, many people struggle to find the time to meditate. Productivity is so ingrained in today’s society that the idea of taking time out to essentially ‘do nothing’ is an idea many dismiss. By doing so, however, they are missing out on a vital part of health management.

The best way to ensure regular meditation is to make it a ritual. Practising at the same time of day in the same place makes meditating easy and creates a habit you don’t have to think about. It also helps if you create a peaceful and aesthetically pleasing space in which to meditate.

If you miss meditation one day, don’t let it put you off meditating the next. Whenever you find the time is better than not at all. Also stay away from excuses that tend to distract from meditation time. Telling yourself you are too tense for meditation actually means it is the perfect time. Claiming you are too busy is no excuse, as meditation helps sharpen tools needed for greater productivity and efficiency.

First-time meditating

If you are new to meditating and not quite sure where to begin, try investing in an audio meditation guide. There are hundreds of meditation guides available online for free and plenty of tips for those just starting out. Eventually, you’ll find letting go easy and you won’t need such tools.

You’ll learn to accept distractions, and this attitude will overflow into your everyday life. Getting a handle on distractions can help you keep track of daily tasks and can help you become less reactive when things go wrong. 

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