This week an article distrubuted by the Mayo Clinic discusses the ability of meditation to reduce stress. While meditation originated as a way to understand the sacred mysteries of religion, its inherent calming effect make it an excellent tool for stress relief and relaxation, even for people who are not religious. During meditation, the participant learns to focus his or her attention on a single thought, idea, or image. Learning to direct and control the mind helps to “eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be… causing stress,” says the article.
Meditation can take many forms. People who are new to meditation or who would like to take their meditative practice in a new direction should consider a guided meditation program. Guided meditation is usually led by a teacher or speaker who verbally walks participants through a meditation exercise, encouraging relaxation and mental tranquility. Guided meditation to reduce stress usually encourages participants to sit quietly, control and relax their breathing, and to clear and focus their mind.
Clearing and focusing the mind are often considered the most difficult parts of meditation, but with regular practice, most meditators find that focusing becomes easier very quickly. Additionally, the benefits of meditation can be seen almost immediately, with many participants reporting reduced stress after only one session.
The Mayo Clinic suggests beginning with a simple meditation routine and not “judging” your meditation or progress. Meditation is not an exact science and, like exercise, even a little is very beneficial. Research and try different methods until you find the meditative practice that is right for you.
Read the entire Mayo Clinic article here.
Download guided meditation to reduce stress here.