Meditation: The Art of Cultivating Calmness

Posted by Kyra Constam on October 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM

Here’s the bad news: stress is unavoidable and there is no cure-all to anxiety. The good news is that there are several methods available to get inevitable stress under control. In our post about keeping your brain healthy, we suggested meditation as a way to manage stress because it offers enough versatility to accommodate various needs. If you need guidance on how to start meditating or why you should give it a shot, keep reading! 

Some people regard meditating as just sitting quietly, but it is so much more. A good definition describes it as “a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state.” Since there isn’t a singular way to manage stress, it’s important to take the necessary time to learn what makes you stressed and how you can best conquer it. Meditation provides you with the perfect opportunity to reflect and experience some moments of calmness in your day.

Maybe you’ve tried it before but felt like you did not accomplish anything because the whole session was a struggle to focus. However, this back-and-forth of being focused and unfocused is a helpful part of the process because: “You’re getting used to shifting your attention back to what you are working on when you start to lose it.” With this concept in mind, you can never have a failed meditation session because you will always be working on your focus. By taking the time to meditate and improve focus, you can reduce stress while simultaneously boosting productivity. Without stress as a distraction, you can accomplish whatever tasks you have.

Besides keeping you attentive, mediation is great for your overall health. It may even “reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients.” While those seem like broad claims, a 2012 studyfrom the American Heart Association reported the striking results. Because stress can do real cognitive damage, combatting it can drastically improve your well being. Luckily, meditation is a solution that’s easy for all ages and health conditions to attempt.

Begin by finding a comfortable position where you can sit upright and turn off the lights. Once you’ve found your spot, turn your attention inward, allow your muscles to relax, and focus on your breathing. Thoughts will come and go. It’s okay to think “Am I doing this right?” Let your mind wander, while always focusing on your breath. Start with 5 minutes, then gradually increase your time as you get more comfortable with the process.

Whether you meditate regularly or you’d like to try it for the first time, consider using our free meditation app GojiTate, or Apple Watch’s Breathe app. Besides guiding your meditation, the app allows you to keep track of your sessions and your “meditative” heart rates (HRs).  With this unique feature, you will observe how daily stresses impact your HRs throughout the day.  Also, it gives you the chance to then categorize different situations, such as Post-Workout, Content, Happy, Work Stress, Family Stress, etc. By overcoming your stress and the toll it takes on your body, you will be able to engage in other healthy habits with a clear head.

For more tips on how to achieve a healthy and balanced lifestyle, subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media! Leave us a comment below if you’ve meditated before or you’d like to try it in the future.

Topics: wellness, mental health, meditation, stress, health