Feeling stressed and anxious? Meditation will help

The American Psychological Association study suggested that the stress levels among the American natives have been increasing for the first time in ten years, reports NBC News.

Feeling stressed and anxious? Meditation will help
(Representational image)

New Delhi: Previous studies have effectively shown meditation to be healing and relaxing for the body as well as the mind.

It is a known practice steeped in ancient Indian tradition that can help cleanse the body and soul spiritually and is also one of the top recommendations and advice given to patients by doctors.

Meditation has often been advised by many to curb stress and now, a team of two scientists has provided some handy tips to help the people meditate regularly in order to beat stress levels.

Various past studies have shown that the high-stress levels could lead to an array of health issues, including high blood pressure and various other cardiovascular diseases.

The American Psychological Association study suggested that the stress levels among the American natives have been increasing for the first time in ten years, reports NBC News.

Further, there are numerous studies suggesting that meditation could help in relieving anxiety and reducing stress levels, further reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

"Real people living busy lives can meditate successfully on their seven-year-old couch, in bed alone or next to their snoring partner, in the passenger seat of their car, at work, at the kitchen table, in the backseat during a road trip, in a bus or a plane seat, said researcher Light Watkins.

"And that's as it should be, because if you are waiting to find yourself atop a cliff-side or in a white, sparsely furnished room in order to feel like you can meditate, you're only going to meditate sporadically, and you're going to mistakenly conclude that what little benefit you are able to derive from your practice is magically linked to your serene environment which couldn't be further from the truth", he added.

Further Emily Fletcher founder of New York-based Ziva Meditation center highlighted the benefits and ease of practicing meditation.

"It feels just as delicious to drop into a meditation when you are feeling blissed out on a pillow with soft lighting as it does sitting at your desk at 2 pm right as your morning coffee wear off," said Emily Fletcher.

Watkins and Fletcher further suggested some techniques to start out with meditation.

Start Practicing

Watkins recommends meditation for 15 to 20 minutes right at the beginning of your day. One must sit upright with back relaxed and shoulders not withdrawn backward. Your hands and feet must be at ease and one could stretch the legs out in front. Set a timer and close your eyes.

Allow all thoughts

The practitioner must not try to instantly fall into a state of complete meditation. Unwanted thoughts and distractions are a part and parcel of the meditation process; rather remember all kinds of thoughts come through your way. Do not try to control your meditation.

Practice at your ease

The more consistently you meditate, the more mindful you will become, says Fletcher. He added, "Do your meditations whenever and wherever you can fit them in ten minutes is better than zero minutes". Watkins defines meditation as allowing the luxury to think about everything and nothing at the same time. This shall be accompanied by a slight to heavy feeling of forgetfulness.

Catch your Breath

Fletcher further mentions of Balancing Breath or alternate nostril breathing, which in the Indian context is known as 'Anulom Vilom' as a warm up to meditation. It helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain and has immediate energizing and calming effects.

Another technique, suggested by Fletcher, is called 2X Breath. This involves breathing in for two counts through the nostrils and out through the mouth for four counts.

Feel the moment

Fletcher further mentions of 'Come to your senses' that could be easily done at all places. It involves closing your eyes and tuning into what your senses are experiencing one at a time.

(With ANI inputs)