Four Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Our minds tend to spin into different emotional states throughout the day. For thousands of years, eastern traditions have recognized how the mind goes from extreme states of joy, to extreme states of sadness and worry.  Monks from eastern traditions were essentially scientists; they recognized that a wild mind could adversely affect our health.  So they used meditation as a way to stay in balance throughout the day.

One thing we know for sure is that stress is extremely damaging to our health. It’s estimated that somewhere around 70% of hospital visits are stress related. The goal is not only to monitor your breathing, but also monitor your feelings. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the one thing you are told about health care prevention is to monitor your feelings.  Because negative feelings cause your body to become unbalanced leading to various health problems.

Right when you feel a stress response, bring your awareness to your breathing. You can meditate everywhere and anywhere; meditation is not just for sitting down on a cushion.

In the eastern health care traditions, Doctors would do just a few minutes of meditation before they saw a patient so they had a clear mind when tending to a patient.  This is something we should incorporate into our workplaces. Imagine if you just did two minutes of meditation right before you saw your next client.

How to meditate.

You can meditate sitting down in a chair, when you’re walking, laying down, etc. There several various ways to do meditation. Just bring your attention to your breathing. If your mind is anxious just continue to bring you attention back to the breath.

Here are four methods to use meditation to reduce stress:

1.       Go out into nature

Go out for a walk in nature, this can be very meditative for people.  You can do walking meditation with your eyes open by just bringing your attention to your breathing. Meditating in nature will help you realign with your body.

2.      Prevent stress by meditating in the morning

You can prevent a lot of future stress responses throughout your day by doing meditation right when you wake up. Make a commitment to do five to ten minutes of meditation every morning. You will have a lot less stress in your life.

3.      Be aware of the stress feelings in your body.

A lot of our day to day activities remove our attention away from the feelings in our body. Learn to recognize when you’re getting stressed out. When you feel you’re getting stressed stop what you are doing and do some meditation.

4.      Do meditation during your lunch break.

If you do five to fifteen minutes of meditation during your lunch break every day, you will see almost immediate results.  Set a reminder, on your calendar or in your phone to stop and do meditation right before you eat lunch.

Robert Piper

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