The Benefits of Meditation and Stress Relief
We all go through times of feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The remedy for many of us is to pour a tall glass of wine and kick off our shoes. While there is nothing wrong with turning to an adult beverage to ease our tensions and escape the world for a bit, it is not a long term fix to stress relief. What happens is that all the things you were worried about return the next day. Depending on how much you drank, now you are contending with worry and a headache.
Instead of trying to avoid the stress by trying to forget about it for while, it would be more beneficial to try to change your mindset so that you are not feeling like you need to reach for the bottle the next time you have a hard day. One way to do this is through meditation. Not only will it not cause a headache, but it will actually leave you feeling refreshed. Below are three ways that meditation can be beneficial.
- Reduces stress
- Helps with focus and clarity
- Enhances self-awareness
Meditation requires you to be still and focus on your breathing and your mind/body connection. Oftentimes when we are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, we are not getting enough oxygen to our brain. Slowing down our breath and consciously relaxing our muscles will help with blood flow, which will then create a feeling of calm. When we are calm, we are more able to see things clearly and focus on what is important. This in turn helps with self-awareness and the ability to let go of what is not in our control.
Don’t expect to be an expert in meditation on your first try. It is really hard to calm the mind and focus on one thing at a time. Don’t be surprised if your thoughts are all over the place at first, this is normal. Start with five minutes a day and work your way up to a longer period of time. After a while, you will notice that your peace of mind is greater. So the next time you reach for a glass of wine, it will be because it goes well with your dinner, not because you need it to relax.