Modern living demands a lot, which also includes a stressful life. Stress has surrounded us so much that it is treated as something normal and acceptable. One of the very effective ways is to inculcate the practice of meditation for stress management. Fighting against normalized stress becomes important because of the underlying long-term effects.
A brief introduction
Before gaining insight into Meditation for stress management, one must understand a brief history about it. Meditation has been an integral part of widespread cultures across the globe. The pages of history from Egypt and China speak a lot about meditation. Religious ties with meditation have been observed in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Judaism.
If a person focuses on spiritualism, meditation can help in spiritual awakening. Meditation helps in developing a deeper awareness of a person. If meditation is performed regularly, one might find it easy to understand themselves better. At last, who wouldn’t want to fully know their mind, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings? The unconscious part of an individual can hide a lot from us. And to explore those hidden parts of oneself, meditation plays a key role.
Scientific reasoning was incorporated into the spiritual and religious aspects of meditation. Scientifically, meditation for stress management has been a successful way to cope with associated hardships. In 1936, meditation was explored in the scientific domain. In 1955, the activity of the brain (to be more specific, the electric waves) were monitored using EEG (Electroencephalogram). Later in the 1960s, the abilities of Swami Rama, a well-known yogi, were examined in a research based on meditation. The researchers claimed that he was able to control functions like brain waves, blood pressure, and heart rate.
The benefits of meditation are no longer an obscured discussion. It has been used in different ways to enhance the way of living. Meditation for stress management has been one of the many benefits of meditating. Apart from meditation for stress management, it has been extensively used for controlling anxiety, bringing emotional well-being, memory retention, fighting against addictions, and enhancing sleep patterns. In the coming section, let us briefly discuss stress management and the use of meditation for stress management.
How to manage stress?
Stress results in the production of a hormone, cortisol, which results in stress-related responses. Cortisol also results in the production of cytokines which cause inflammation, high blood pressure, and affected sleep. Meditation has proven to reduce these effects resulting from stress. Here are some ways other than meditation, that can help in dealing with stressful conditions.
Management of stress can be tedious. Stress management can be tough and unbending at times. Many times the response to stress by the systems is rather unhealthy. One might find its inclination toward various addictions. Self-criticism is another unhealthy response caused by stress. In some people, riskier behaviors like rash driving are noticed. A stronger will to fight the trauma caused by stress can defeat the ill effects.
Healthy ways of managing stress can be quite easy. The foremost approach of it should focus on taking care of yourself. Self-care can be the simplest way to handle stress. It must include a healthy sleep schedule, a healthy diet, and required exercise.
The diet must include balanced meals, while the incorporation of meditation can have beneficial results as well. Social media platforms can alleviate the stress of already inconvenient situations. Continued exposure to troubling news can worsen the gloom associated with stress. Another healthier way can include taking a break from social media platforms.
Meditation for stress management
Stress can result in an atmosphere of tension and worry. The practice of meditation requires not much effort or investment. Earlier used intensively for attaining spiritual awakening and a deeper understanding of oneself, it can be used to control the stress present in your environment.
Any person can practice meditation without the requirement of expertise. Another reason why meditation for stress management is preferred can be explained by its inexpensive and easy-to-perform features. A 5-minute session of meditation for stress management can wipe away the sources of stress.
The interesting part about stress is that it can be performed literally from anywhere. Are you at your doctor’s office waiting for your appointment? Are you at a parking lot on a beautiful evening? Are you going back home after tiring work hours? You can meditate for a while anywhere.
Meditation for stress management has been supported by scientific research. Different studies promote the efficiency of practicing meditation for stress management. Meditation is beneficial in stressful conditions as it helps one to be resilient. Another reason why meditation for stress management helps is that it helps in being centered in times of emotional turmoil.
For understanding how meditation for stress management works, let us dig a little bit into how stress works. Any stressful situation results in a stressful response. The response to a stressful response generally revolves around the flight or fight mode. This physical response benefits a person when he is in extreme danger. But the current lifestyle triggers stressful conditions and responses that are not related to an extremely dangerous situation.
The presence of a stressful response for a long time can have detrimental effects on humans. How does meditation withstand the harmful effects of stressful responses? It does so by producing a relaxation response. This can nullify the stress and the negative emotions arising from stressful conditions.
How to practice meditation for stress management?
Meditation for stress management is very effective. But how should one incorporate it into his daily schedule? Here is a guide to help practice meditation for stress management.
The first step is to choose a suitable place and position where you can meditate. A place with minimal disturbances should be chosen for meditation. Many people prefer sitting on their legs during meditation. If one finds comfort in sitting on his bed or chair, it doesn’t affect the results. The interesting thing is you can meditate, even if you are simply lying down. The posture should be correct. When we say correct posture, make sure your back is straight.
Locate a thing or a soft gaze that can be focused on while meditating. Afterward, one must close his eyes. The eyes should be closed gently. The facial muscles should feel relaxed, if not open your eyes, followed by again focusing and gentle closure of eyelids. Alternatively, one can also focus on his breathing.
While focusing it is important that the mind should be free from thoughts. Thoughts flow in the mind like a river. Hence, if a person is a beginner, he should not be too hard on himself. With practice, the flow of thoughts can be maintained. The thoughts coming to the mind should be kept aside. If the thoughts keep coming, it is essential to not suppress or avoid them. With practice, the mind can attain quiet spaces for longer durations.
Tips for starting meditation for stress management
There is no meditation that can be tagged as the perfect technique. The techniques will vary with an individual. Starting to meditate as a stress relief solution can require effort and practice. Very often we set the bars too high for ourselves. This can result in an unnecessary buildup of stress. Hence, one might find that stress is elevated rather than relaxing.
If one is thinking of a perfect manner, he is wrong. There exists nothing as a perfect meditation technique. As a beginner, one must not be hard on himself. Everything is trial and error. With time and effort, one figures out the perfect way to meditate for stress management. Disappointments should be avoided as a wandering of mind is totally normal.
One should avoid long durations of meditation practice in the beginning. The practice of meditation should start with shorter durations. If one is thinking his first meditation session should be of 30 minutes, it will surely be nothing less than torture. The first meditation can be performed for 5 minutes. Even if one starts with a 2-minute session, he is good to go.
In the beginning, a few minutes too can feel like an eternity. Is my time over? Has it been too long? Such thoughts can be a distraction. Hence it is advisable to use a timer in the beginning. If a particular meditation method does not work, other methods can be explored.
Wrapping It Up
Meditation confers a lot of benefits. Some of the prominent benefits are a better lifestyle, gaining emotional stress, understanding oneself better, clearing one’s mind, and whatnot. A few different types of meditation also help in enhancing kindness. There are various physical benefits as well associated with meditation.
Meditation has been an effective way to deal with stress. Meditation for stress management remains effective, be it mental or physical stress. Meditation is also an integrated part of different therapies. While practicing meditation, it can be tough for beginners. But consistency and commitment can make ways easier when it comes to starting with meditation. Journaling and physical exercises are other things you can couple with your meditation routine.