The Benefits of Meditation During Self-Isolation
Why You Should Start Practicing Mindfulness
While certain areas are starting to re-open businesses and public spaces, there are many of us who are still stuck in our homes for the most part. The uncertain and frightening nature of the current pandemic has many people feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and generally more anxious than ever. Being stuck inside can not only be isolating, but it also deprives many of us of our usual coping mechanisms for stress. Instead of being able to blow off some steam after a hard week in the office by spending time with friends and loved ones, we are internalizing all of our stress.
May is Mental Health Month, so it’s a great time to focus on nurturing our emotional wellbeing. It’s important to be able to find daily release from the stress and anxiety of the current world. One trend that has become increasingly popular in the midst of the pandemic is daily meditation. Find out why more and more people have been turning to meditation in recent months and how it may be able to help you.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation essentially sparks the cultivation of awareness. It allows some space into your day to focus all of your energy inwards on yourself rather than outwards upon the scary outside world. Spending time every day to focus on the current moment can be remarkably centering for your mind. Meditation can help to eliminate that “lost” feeling that you might be experiencing since it focuses the brain on the moment. Many people report that this adds a tangibility to their day’s experience, which can be comforting during times of uncertainty. Being present with your immediate surroundings is often much more comforting than focusing on the stressful outside world.
“Many people who try meditation for the first time erroneously believe that the point is to clear the mind of thoughts,’ said Michael Haederle, a lay Zen monk who leads a sitting group in Albuquerque and, as a journalist, has written about the neuroscience of meditation. “When attempting a simple practice, like following the breath, they realize their minds are very busy. That isn’t a sign of failure, though — recognizing that our minds are unruly is the starting point for a meditation practice.”
The Physical Benefits of Meditation
We all know that stress can have negative impacts on our health, but to what extent? Well, anxiety has been shown to correlate with rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and a decrease in sleep quality. Not only is meditation amazing for your headspace, but it can also have great physical benefits and boost your overall health. The proper management of stress is generally beneficial for a variety of medical conditions including asthma, heart disease, and high blood pressure. For these reasons, meditation is commonly recommended for cardiovascular patients as an accompaniment to proper medical care and medication. Relieving stress can alleviate many physical symptoms. We know that it’s been a bit harder to stay healthy while we’ve been stuck at home, but meditation is a great opportunity to focus on your health every day.
How to Meditate
There is no one right way to meditate. It looks a little different for everyone, but there are a few main methods that people use to calm down and center themselves.
Guided meditation allows you to follow along with audio or video while an instructor breaks down the process with simple step-by-step instructions. This is a great option for beginners who are learning how to meditate, and apps like Calm and Headspace make it easy to do right from your phone.
Mantra meditation involves repeating a comforting word or phrase to yourself for focus purposes. It can aid in determination. This method is often recommended for those who are trying to use meditation as a stepping stone to achieving a goal.
Yoga is a great option for people who want a combination of physical exercise with mental exercise. Controlled breathing exercises that are common in yoga help to relax the mind and body all at once.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
During such a stressful period in our history, it’s especially important to take the time every day to focus on yourself and your health, both mental and physical. Mental Health Awareness month seems appropriately timed in 2020 when many of us are struggling to adjust to our new normal. Make yourself a priority, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. While it can be difficult to balance working from home, family life, and the stress of the news, small breaks can help to renew and refresh your mindset.
For more tips on taking care of yourself at home, visit our blog today!