Why is it that people keep suggesting that to easily reduce your stress, you need to start meditating? Well, for one, it works. Research has repeatedly shown that mindfulness meditation can help people feel less stressed.
But how does it work? Meditation helps you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so that you can manage them healthier. It also teaches you how to focus on the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
When you have less stress in your life, you can think more clearly, make better decisions, and be more productive. You’re also at lower risk for developing health problems like anxiety, depression, and heart disease.
However, though we have heard time and time before that meditation is good for us, it is often difficult to make time for it in our busy lives. It can be difficult to find the motivation to start meditating, and then it can be even harder to stick with it.
Often, what helps us stick with our meditation practice is to understand why it can help us easily reduce stress in our lives. So, here are five ways why meditation is the best way to easily reduce stress:
1. Meditation quiets the mind chatter that causes stress
One of the main reasons we experience stress is the constant stream of thoughts that runs through our minds. This inner dialogue can be critical, anxious, or simply repetitive and mundane. Meditation helps quiet this mental chatter by focusing our attention on a single point, such as our breath. As we practice, we gradually become better at letting go of thoughts that arise and returning our focus to the present moment.
2. Meditation teaches us how to respond, not react, to stressors
When we’re under stress, it’s common to react in an automatic and often unhelpful way. For example, we might lash out at someone who has upset us or turn to food or alcohol to cope with our stress. Meditation helps us become more aware of our thoughts and emotions, so that we can respond to them in a more deliberate and helpful way.
3. Meditation increases our resilience to stress
Meditation doesn’t just help us deal with stress in the moment, it also helps us build up our resilience to stress over time. Research has shown that people who meditate regularly have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and are better able to cope with stressful situations.
4. Meditation can help improve our physical health
When we’re stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode. This means our heart rate and blood pressure increase, and we breathe more rapidly. Over time, this can lead to health problems such as anxiety, depression, and heart disease. Meditation helps reverse the effects of stress by calming the body and mind. As a result, it can help improve our physical health.
5. Meditation is easy and free
One of the best things about meditation is that it’s easy and free to do. You don’t need any special equipment or training, you can do it anywhere, and you can meditate for as long or as short a time as you like.
When you understand why meditation is the best way to easily reduce stress, it becomes much easier to find the motivation to start and stick with a practice. So give it a try today and see how it can help you easily reduce stress in your life.