Meditation is a Stress Reduction Tool.
A key stress reduction tool that we recommend at Stress to Strength is meditation. In meditation, you access the parasympathetic nervous system state that is the ‘slow me down’ part for ‘inner quiet’ that reverses the sympathetic nervous system state, of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in many different cultures. It has been shown to decrease the production of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline which in turn can reduce blood pressure, hypertension, and insomnia.
Meditation also triggers the brain to release naturally occurring chemicals that enhance your well-being, focus, and feelings of calm, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. These hormones are often referred to as the ‘happy hormones’.
The act of meditation also increases the production an anti-aging hormone of DHEA and sets up the simultaneous release of a number of neurotransmitters, something that no single drug can do—and all without side effects.
Who can Benefit from meditation?
Anybody can benefit from meditation. A study by the Chopra Center found that after a six-day meditation retreat, new meditators experienced significant improvements in immune function, reduction of depressive symptoms, and the suppression of stress-related responses such as inflammation lasting 10 months after the retreat.
People often feel it will take them many months or even years to learn how the meditate. Also, they do not have hours each day available to meditate, so they do not even explore getting started. Research has shown that even if you meditate for just 5 to 10 minutes each day, you will receive many healing benefits.
Exercise has always been a major part of living a healthy life for me. Walking or jogging on the beach, in the bush or in a forest you can combine with meditation.
For those who love swimming, focusing on the black line at the bottom of the pool as you continually lap, is another way you can participate in an active meditation.