Your health is determined by what goes on inside your head. What your brain says influences everything from whether you get out of bed in the morning to go to the gym to whether you turn down that second glass of wine. It makes sense that anyone attempting to be healthier should take their mental health into account.
Meditation is a form of mindfulness training designed to reduce stress. A recent study in the Psychoneuroendocrinology journal revealed that a little mindfulness training can go a long way to destroying stress.
This article will discuss how meditation can help you reduce stress.
What is Mindfulness Training?
Meditation is a form of mindfulness training. There are a number of variations, but meditation is the heart of it. This refers to thinking in the present moment. In other words, you are eliminating the mindless chatter that normally goes on in your head.
That chatter is a condition known as ‘monkey mind’. Monkey mind is where your mind is wandering. It’s hopping from place to place and agonizing over the past and future. Mindfulness training is about focusing on the here and now.
Most people who go through mindfulness training are amazed at the mental health benefits they gain. But the main advantage is in how mindfulness training decreases the amount of stress you happen to feel.
Why Reducing Stress Can Improve Your Life
- Increases your metabolic rate.
- Improves your willpower and determination.
- Makes you more optimistic and productive.
These are just three benefits you can take advantage of. There are actually hundreds of reasons why removing stress can improve your life.
How Meditation Reduces Stress
The main way meditation allows you to feel less stressed is how it cures the monkey mind condition. While you meditate, you are told to focus on one specific point. This anchor tends to be the rhythm of your breathing moving in and out. You are thinking about nothing but your breathing.
In the modern age, this is likely the one time of day where you are extracting yourself from your life. Furthermore, that’s the one time where your mind can truly take a rest.
Meditation’s Effect on the Brain
Meditation will improve your mental health and reduce stress through changing the volume of certain parts of your brain. There’s a reason why meditation supposedly makes your mind sharper. It increases the volume of the brain in the areas responsible for memory and logic.
On the other hand, meditation reduces the volume of the part of the brain responsible for stress, fear, and anxiety.
Over time, regular meditation will reduce this part of the brain to a record low. This is why regular practitioners of mindfulness training tend to be more optimistic and content.
A Working Process
Nevertheless, meditation is something you must grow into. One meditation session will not have any significant long-term benefits. Those who get the most out of mindfulness training have been meditating for twenty years. But there are still short-term benefits you can take advantage of.
These short-term benefits do involve a reduction in stress. The more you meditate the more you’ll notice these stress reductions. To make the most of these stress-busting techniques, you should set aside some time to meditate at a time of day where you commonly feel stressed.
For example, many people lay awake at night thinking about this and that. Instead of lying in bed and waiting for these negative thoughts to take over, make a point of spending just 30 minutes meditating. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you get to sleep with no stressful thoughts.
Change Your Life
Bear in mind that meditation alone won’t account for a naturally stressful lifestyle. Regular practitioners of meditation also focus on other aspects of their lives. They actively remove factors that lead to stress, alongside regular meditation.
You’ll notice that once or twice a day is more than enough to benefit from meditation. To achieve long-term change, you need consistency and a willingness to reduce stress in other parts of your life. Some ideas to make meditation that much more effective include:
- Eliminating burdensome friends and family members.
- Reducing the amount of time spent working.
- Changing your diet. A healthy diet can alter your outlook on life.
It’s clear that meditation plays a huge part in allowing you to lead a stress-free lifestyle. If you are determined to improve your mental health, begin meditating today. You don’t need an instructor and you don’t need any expensive courses.
Sit in a quiet place. Set the timer for thirty minutes. Close your eyes. Concentrate on your breath moving in and out. Think nothing.