Whether at home, in the workplace, or just going about our daily business, stress can pop up anywhere. In fact, it’s been routinely pointed out that there maybe a “stress epidemic” in the United States. Fortunately, however, there are time-tested tools to help abate the tide of stress, and one of those tools is meditation.
To begin, it’s hard to pin down an exact definition for mediation, primarily because the practice cuts across many different religions and cultures. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and a whole panoply of eastern religions incorporate religion into their spiritual practice.
“Meditation has been described as ‘no-mind’ or ‘not-thinking’,” writes author Christina Rodenbeck. “It is the stilling of the mind for a sustained period. In essence, this is achieved, at least initially, by concentrating on one thing – a word, a symbol, an action such as breathing – so that everything else falls away.” She continues: “This is called the ‘one-pointed mind’ and is, in fact, quite difficult to accomplish.”
Once meditation is accomplished, according to Rodenbeck, many benefits ensure. Some of the benefits include:
• Confidence and self-control
• Inner certainty
• Ability to focus and work efficiently
• Relief from insomnia, high blood pressure
• Improved posture
• Better personal relationships
One of the best things about meditation is that it costs very little (outside of purchasing a book or video or class, if you should so choose). And, too, meditation can be done for as little or as long as you would like. Some guided meditations can last for hours, while there are short meditations that can be accomplished in a few minutes before you leave the house to go to work in the morning. Interestingly, too, according to Rodenbeck, meditation can be by commuters.
“Waiting is part of being a live,” she writes. “[A]nd impatience is art of dealing with the pressures of modern life. We all become accustomed to life moving along at a certain pace and when it doesn’t go just the way that we expect, we can get surprising upset.” She continues: “Travel of any kind involves waiting around for any length of time. We are forced to be patient in the departure lounge, on the train or in line at the check-in.”
So, meditation is an effective way to fight off stress, reduce anxiety, and help us cope with day-to-day problems.
Rodenbeck, C. (2004). Meditation for Everyday Living. Bounty Books, London, UK.