Stress is one of the biggest threats to the public's health, but it can be reduced at home with the right techniques.
Everyday Health documents how stress is an epidemic for all ages and genders in the United States, one which is often not spoken of and is unseen.
Anything can lead to a build-up of stress, from work commitments to personal problems, or even concern for affairs in the wider world. Even simply reaching middle age is now more stressful than ever before, with a Penn University study suggesting 45 to 64-year-olds are more stressed today than in the 1990s.
The increase in stress will similarly place an increased demand on healthcare as it manifests itself into a range of conditions and illnesses. An overview by Maryville University on healthcare management outlines that that demand for medical and health services professionals will increase by 17% from 2014 to 2024, making a reduction in stress-related illness a must, to ease the burden on hospitals and doctors. Whilst these uncertain times heighten the potential for stress and anxiety, it is important to consider how you can healthy, physically and mentally. However, by implementing meditation or relaxation at home, you can help alleviate those concerns and the pressure on our healthcare professionals.
What do you need to get started? Our handy guide will have you de-stressing in next to no time at all.
Find a Spot
It is important to find the right spot to get started. The ideal place will be somewhere you are not likely to get distracted or interrupted, at least for the few minutes you want to meditate. Make sure your cellular phone is off and, if you still have a house line, perhaps take it off the hook.
It is also important to consider your posture. Yoga Journal explains there are several postures you can use and picking one that is likely to give you the best chance to relax is important. You do not want to choose a posture that aggravates a back injury, for example.
Pick Your Time
Timing is everything and if you are at home all day, you will know what time you regularly get interrupted. What time does the mailman come? Do you have kids who are likely to pop home at lunch? If you know your routine, you will know when you can get five minutes alone and in peace.
Early morning is a great time to meditate as it is generally quieter, but also your period of self-reflection can help set you up for the day.
Nobody is expecting you to sit for hours at your first attempt, meditation is like any other hobby; you start small and work your way up. Even sitting for a few minutes, or however long you feel comfortable, is a great place to begin. Do not let your mediation become a source of stress; do not worry if you are doing it right or not doing it enough, it is counterproductive.
The human mind is a wonderful thing; it stores up information and constantly sends signals around the body to keep you alert and healthy. However, to meditate properly you must find a way to turn off the little itches that appear, or to-do lists that pop into your head. The best way is to focus on your breathing, concentrating on the inhale and exhale, carefully and with purpose. That focuses your brain and will impact the other signals, much the same as your to-do list does not pop into your head when you are distracted gardening, cooking or playing sports.
They are the basics, the easiest way to find yourself having some quiet relaxation time and hopefully destressing at some point in the day. There are no hard and fast rules to meditation, other than to ensure a better mental state of mind and ultimately, increased physical wellness too.
A symptom of stress can be tension headaches, a debilitating and painful intrusion on your wellbeing. If you do suffer from these, it is worth reading our article How to Get Rid of Tension Headaches for some practical advice on solving the issue.
~Exclusively written by Lana Preston for allwayswell.com
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.