We're so accustomed to accepting stress as a part of our daily lives, sometimes it's almost impossible to imagine there being any escape from it.
You've probably heard about meditation before, but you may not know a lot about it. So before you roll your eyes or give me your best Buddha impression, consider that meditation has been around for thousands of years, so it's clear there must be something to it. The practice of Meditation first began in the East and made it's way more slowly into our Western societies, so Westerners have been slower to embrace it's concepts and benefits.
Face it, Americans are a Pretty Stressed out Bunch
For some odd reason, Americans seem to believe things need to be complex in order to have substance, but that's not always true. Many of us tend to be "antsy" personality types who feel more comfortable being in constant motion, than we do stopping to contemplate truly living in each moment of our lives. You might have heard the expression, "Keep it Simple Stupid" and relaxation practices like meditation and yoga are both perfect examples of this concept.
If the idea of taking 5 minutes out of your busy day for meditation makes you feel even more stressed out, you're probably a perfect candidate for it! While at first it might be difficult to believe that you can derive so much benefit from something so simple, before you totally dismiss the possibility, why not take 5 minutes and give it a try?
Scientific and Medical Research Gives it a Thumbs Up
According to WebMD and Dr. Herbert Benson, who is the founder of the Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, "Any condition that's caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation".
Their Foundation notes many of the benefits of practicing relaxation within their study of "Mind-Body Genomics" and some of their clinical studies have indicated very positive and psychological benefits from illnesses such as hypertension and inflammatory bowel disease.
Many people who practice meditation on a regular basis describe an overall improvement in their overall sense of well-being and some claim it helps calm them and help with not overreacting to difficult situations.
Begin with Just 5 Minutes a Day
The most important part of practicing meditation is making the commitment to begin and there are many resources that make it easy for you to get started. You can research local mediation groups in your area who will help provide you with guidance or formal training if you enjoy working in a group environment. There are also many books, videos and some websites even offer online guided meditations to give you ideas for how to get started and these also make it easy to practice in the privacy of your home.
For busy moms, the best opportunity to give it a try might be in the evening, after the kids are in bed and the house is finally quiet. Plus it's a great way to wind down the day and prepare your body for sleep.
You really have nothing to lose by trying it since it requires no financial outlay for special equipment or clothing, it doesn't introduce anything foreign into your body and it takes as little as 5-15 minutes daily for you to begin to derive some benefit from it. I really hope you'll give it a try and that it will add a new positive element to your both your life and your health.