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Stress Reduction Meditation

Did you know that doctors believe one of the most common contributors to poor health is stress? Everyone experiences it to some degree, but prolonged exposure to high stress levels can actually break down the immune system and hinder the body’s ability to maintain a healthy state. Because of this, more and more research is spent finding out about methods of stress reduction. Meditation is becoming more and more popular as a way to combat the harmful effects of stress.

It’s a buzzword that has been gaining popularity at a staggering pace, but no matter what you think about it, stress reduction meditation can decrease your stress levels, thus boosting your body’s natural ability to stay healthy.

Stress Reduction: What Is It And How Does One Do It?
Stress reduction meditation is the act of being still. Stillness of the mind and of the body. Many religions describe meditation using metaphysical terms, and for their purposes, meditation, indeed, may be a religious experience that has special guidelines and rules associated with it. However, it doesn’t have to be that for you, so don’t worry if you don’t agree with all of the concepts surrounding the practice of contemplation.

A very simple method of stress reduction meditation goes like this: Choose an area where you will be undisturbed for a period of time. Turn off any telephones, TVs or computers and other distractions. Set a timer for 15-20 minutes. Next, sit or lie in a comfortable position and relax your body. Now, since this whole process is about relaxation, you may not want to be in a position where you will easily fall sleep. There is no doubt that sleeping is a relaxing activity, but sleeping and stress reduction meditation are two different things. So in your comfortable position, close your eyes and take a deep breath. And the last step is simple. Just breathe in and breathe out while you keep your focus on your breath or some other simple subject.

Our thoughts have a tendency to race through our minds at high speeds almost without our own control. Use stress reduction meditation time to slow it all down. Focus on your breathing or something else that won’t cause your mind to race. And as it tries to return to its racing, just bring it back to your breath. That’s it. Call it stress reduction meditation, rumination, or reflection. Whatever word you use doesn’t matter because the benefits you experience will be the same. Let’s look at them.

Stress Reduction: Meditation Benefits
As much as stress reduction meditation is about being in a state of non-action, there are a few vital actions that do take place. The first relates to your breathing. The human body absolutely requires a few things to keep it running, and one of them is oxygen. We all breathe involuntarily, but during stress reduction meditation, you bring in more air, essentially feeding your cells. They function better:  repairing, carrying nutrients, and staving off possible infections. The brain functions better when adequate oxygen is supplied, and stress reduction meditation is how you put yourself in a prolonged state of calm.

The other physical act that takes place is that your thoughts stop their incessant wandering and racing, which, in and of itself, can cause your body stress. Thoughts about when things need to get done, where you need to be, who you need to speak with can quickly overwhelm anyone. Many times anxiety follows, putting pressure on a bad situation and making it worse. You know that those thoughts don’t feel good, but did you realize that at the level of your cells, your body is actually faltering and breaking down? A little stress reduction meditation each day can decrease and many times eliminate stress completely.

No matter how you decide to practice stress reduction meditation, it’s important to just start doing it. 15-20 minutes is all it takes, and the benefits last even longer. Within 20 days, you’ll notice the changes. You’ll notice that the peacefulness spreads to other parts of your life. Even when you’re not meditating you’ll see that you’re less likely to get stressed out. Your body will thrive, and your life will improve with a little stress reduction meditation.

Petra Kovlinksy

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