#DidYouKnow- Stress can literally kill your brain cells and even reduce the size of your brain? [Harvard Med School]
Stress continues to be a major health issue in America, with reports of one-third of adults having increased stress over the past year- and levels steadily rising.
I used to be a part of that one-third.
Between living in the Bay Area, having not one- but 3 side hustles, being an online entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and still making time to volunteer (and have a life sometimes)- stress was my middle name.
Stress was that annoying fly that’s stuck in your car after swinging your arms like Rocky Balboa for 15 minutes, looking like a madman until you finally give in and let it play tag with your forehead for the rest of your drive home.
It was around so much, it eventually became a part of my daily routine.
It was until a friend asked me one simple question.
That question, single-handedly had stress penning a letter, packing its bags, and bidding its farewell before hitting the high road– only popping up from time to time, checking in to see if I’m really happy without them, like an annoying ex-boyfriend.
My friend asked:
“Have you tried meditating?”
The zen equivalent to– do you even lift bro?
In this post I’ll go over:
- What meditation is
- What it has done for me
- The health benefits
What is meditation?
In simple terms, meditation is a mental exercise that involves relaxation, focus, and awareness.
How long do you meditate for?
Usually 5 to 10 minutes. On the app I use [Headspace], you can choose how long you wanna go for.
What if I don’t know how to meditate?
Honestly, I had NO idea how to meditate when I first started (which was a few months ago).
The app is perfect for absolute beginners- it guides you through the entire process!
What if I don’t have a place to meditate?
You can practically meditate anywhere!
Sitting in the driver’s seat of your car, in your room on your bed, your living room.
Before trying out HeadSpace, I thought I needed to be criss-cross apple-sauced on a yoga mat in a dim room with candles, but I was definitely wrong.
All you need is a quiet space!
Has it really helped with stress management?
When I’m feeling anxious, tense, worried (or all of the above), meditating restores my calm and grants me inner peace.
When my mind is racing with a hundred thoughts, it helps bring me back to center- and not just for the moment either. It helps me maintain my balance and manage my stress for the rest of the day.
“Meditation affects the body in exactly the opposite ways that stress does—by triggering the body’s relaxation response. It restores the body to a calm state, helping the body repair itself and preventing new damage from the physical effects of stress.” [Mayo Clinic]
It not only helps with stress in the moment and throughout the day, but practicing it regularly has significantly lowered the frequency of my feelings of stress.
And in the event that I do feel overwhelmed, the intensity is NOT nearly as close as how it used to be.
Other Benefits of Meditation include:
- Improved immune function
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced physical pain
- Increased optimism
- Improved sleep
- Emotional stability
- Increased “happy” hormones
- Increased brain matter
- Improved focus
- Improved memory
So for those of you reading this and have never tried meditating- what do you say? What do you have to lose by giving it a try?
Inner peace is the new success yall.
Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak!
If you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [8 Daily Habits that Unknowingly Increase Your Anxiety & Stress] post!