Meditation, in all of its forms, helps you reap a number of long-lasting benefits. It helps you get to know your body better and improves the way it responds to stress. It also boosts your emotional health by helping you develop a positive self-image and outlook on life. One of the more important benefits of meditation, especially during times like these, is how meditation helps lower your stress levels.
Depending on how much time you have on your hands, it can be used as a tool to help you relax and minimize any stress-related symptoms within a few minutes. For people who can set aside time to practice, you develop ways to become less reactive and respond to challenges you encounter with a more relaxed mindset. If you’re looking for ways to destress, give these meditation techniques a shot:
One of the easiest forms of meditation is breath awareness, which involves observing our flow of breathing to help our mind and body relax. This form of meditation helps lower stress levels by using breathing patterns as a natural rhythm that can keep us anchored to the present.
Breath awareness also helps us understand how our breathing is connected to our mental health: Shallow breathing increases feelings of anxiety and fear, while deep breathing promotes a calmer and relaxed state of mind.
Using your ability to visualize and daydream, guided imagery helps you form mental images of relaxing places and situations. With the help of guided imagery recordings or a professional guide, you can incorporate your sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch to help your body relax and temporarily keep your mind off of any stressors.
Guided imagery also stimulates positive changes, such as lowered heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps you think clearer, and improve your ability to focus and concentrate on any of your tasks.
Body scan meditation
When you’re stressed most of the time, you might not be aware that the physical discomfort you’re experiencing stems from your state of mind. Body scan meditation involves paying attention to different parts of your body and any pain or discomfort you might be feeling.
Although relaxation is not the primary goal of this form of meditation, it helps you get to know your body’s responses to stress and manage these responses better so you can feel calmer.
Focused attention meditation
If you’re overwhelmed or distracted, there’s focused attention meditation—which involves directing your full and undivided attention to one object of focus as a way of anchoring yourself to the present. This meditation technique engages your attention regulation skills by making you more aware of your mind wandering and redirecting it back to your object of focus.
Aside from improving your concentration, this meditation technique also helps lessen emotional reactivity and increase your attention span and self-awareness.
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Writer: ANGELA PATRICIA SUACILLO