People hear the word meditation and they think they need to go to a class, sit in lotus position, and say ‘om’. Sometimes they think they don’t have enough time or that their mind is about as tamable as a drunken monkey. It’s easier than you think and great for calming anxiety.
Truth is, meditation comes in many forms. Whatever gets your mind off your day. Perhaps it’s a brisk walk around the block, window shopping, or relaxing in the tub. Each is capable of reducing stress in the similar ways as traditional forms of meditation.
For those interested in meditation as a means to help quiet the ‘monkey mind’, you can do so by simply bringing more awareness into daily activities like washing the dishes. Let washing the dishes be the focus of your attention. If you find your mind wandering, gently say ‘wandering’ and return to washing dishes.
When you encourage your mind to relax, your body gets the signal that it is okay to repair itself. It’s the opposite of the flight-or-fight response. Heart rate and blood pressure drop, your immune system becomes more active and digestion soothes – all of which help stress levels decrease.
When we’re overstress, we’re walking through life in a semiconscious state. We’re surviving by going through the motions. By reminding yourself of the present moment, you’re building your resilience to stress and calming your nervous system, which will make you better able to manage it.