Meditation refers to mental concentration on something that gives you peace and satisfaction. It is a state of consciousness where the mind is free of various patterns, and scattered thoughts and all activities in mind are reduced to one. Meditation has been proven as an effective technique that contributes to reducing stress and also as a way to help manage stress better as it helps reduce stress hormones and the inflammatory responses that occur during stressful situations. There are various types of meditation techniques that you can use such as yoga, Tai Chi, mindful meditation, guided meditation amongst others.
Mindful meditation involves sitting down comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your thoughts of the present without focusing on the past or future. Mediation may not be an easy thing for everybody, but you can learn mindful techniques. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a course that teaches one to pay attention to the present moment without being judgmental. One learns body scan meditations, gentle yoga, and breath awareness. Most people who have undergone through this course have been identified to have low-stress hormone levels and low inflammation levels.
Meditation can be done anywhere, and it is a quite simple technique that requires no equipment to manage stress. When you are meditating, you are taking responsibility for your own mental state and train yourself on how to respond to the experiences so that you get outcomes that will enhance your well-being and happiness. When you become more aware of the internal and external activities that are affecting you, then you are in a better position to do something to do them.
Stress and anxiety cause you to have the fight or flight response and the adrenal glands release the epinephrine and norepinephrine and these results to an increase in pulse rate, blood pressure and increased blood flow to the muscles. When you meditate, you are initiating a relaxation response that will provoke an opposite reaction from the fight or flight response. This leads to lower blood pressure, reduced lifestyle stress and enhanced moods.
Meditation also helps manage stress because it has the element of body relaxation and through your posture and breathing during meditation; it influences your mental state and promotes contentment and calmness. Bottled up stress can cause you to react with anger and have hostile feelings towards other people, but when you meditate, it teaches you to suspend these judgments and the unnecessary emotional reactions. You will be able to notice and acknowledge judgments and let them go without struggling with them. When you don’t act on your judgments, they will fade away.
The regular practice of meditation is a way to achieve the relaxed state and reduce the physical and emotional consequences that are associated with stress and anxiety. When stressful situations do arise, then you will have developed skills on how to deal with stress more peacefully.