One of the most overlooked facets of our personal health today is the importance of quiet time and meditation.
Quiet time and meditation offers an opportunity for you to allow your mind to relax. With so many distractions and noise in today’s world, we often do not take time to be consciously still. We live in a fast paced society where quietness is often treated as weakness and the next task should have already been done.
A friend recently shared this story of her daily struggle:
“Every day I feel completely overwhelmed. From the moment I wake up in the morning, someone needs something from me. I work 8 hours a day and going home just feels like more work. I live in a constant state of stress and anxiety because I feel like I can never catch up.”
Can you connect with my friend and her struggle? I know I can. I feel that struggle more often than I would like to admit.
So what can we do? How do you begin or end your day so that you can be your very best self?
Taking time to be quiet and meditate or pray can offer many life changing mental and physical health benefits.
- It can lower your blood pressure. Stress is one of the many causes of elevated blood pressure. Taking some time each day to quietly meditate or pray reduces stress levels and lowers blood pressure.
- You can lose weight. Wait, what…? Yes, stress (our culprit once again) causes cortisol levels in the body to increase. Cortisol, which is released as a “fight or flight” hormone, has been known to cause excess weight storage in the abdominal area. De-stress, be quiet, and relax. Keep at it and you may notice your waist shrinking!
- Your focus will improve. By taking the time each day to be quiet and empty your mind of to-do lists and worries, you will ready your mind to focus on the tasks at hand that day. In fact, in addition to reducing stress, studies have shown that people who meditate have permanent brain function changes that improve the ability to focus. With renewed clarity and consciousness, you can attack your day with purpose!
- Anxiety will decrease. Anxiety in the U.S. is estimated to be an issue for 15%-25% of adults. Rather than jump straight to prescribing medication, many practitioners use meditation or prayer as a means to reduce anxiety in patients along with therapy.
- Your moods will improve. With a centered feeling each day, you will find that your emotions feel steady. This can improve your relationships, your work performance, even your self-confidence can get a boost!
Not sure how to enjoy some quiet time with meditation or prayer?
Try starting with 5-10 minutes each morning or evening.
First, find a quiet room where you can be alone. Go into the bathroom if you must (mommies, this means you). Sit on the floor or bed.
Then set a timer, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Clear your mind of all things except for your breathing. When your mind wanders, bring it back to nothingness. Focus on releasing tension in each body part, beginning with your toes and moving up the body.
It may help to play some white noise or yoga music on your phone.
Finally, work to increase your time a tiny bit each day. Pretty soon, you will be able to spend 30 minutes each morning or evening meditating to release your stress and center your mind and soul.
Wait until you see how that feels! The benefits are endless!
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