Your heart “races” when you’re upset, “pounds” when you’re angry, “skips” a beat when you’re anxious. This all adds up to stress! And we are stressed right now!
It’s possible as summer arrives, we may become less stressed. The weather is lovely, the days are longer, the kids are not in school – and this year, home school, and summer seems to just make us relax.
Use this slower season to learn to meditate. If you are thinking woo-woo chanting and sandals, think again! In addition to relaxing you – studies have shown meditation actually lowers blood pressure - and it can help to promote changes in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, too.
Meditation can be done anywhere - at your desk, in the middle of your day, in your car before driving into or home from the office, or in a quiet moment at home. Meditation is a very personal practice, and you can make it your own, and what works for you.
Try one of these exercises the next time you are feeling stressed out!
- While seated, take five slow breaths. Breathe in for a count of 5, hold the breath for a count of 5, then exhale fully for a count of 5. Imagine the rays of the sun are warming your core, melting away your stress. Actually picture the stress leaving your body.
- Before you eat a meal, spend a few minutes just doing nothing. Perhaps inwardly express gratitude for your food. Then, be aware of what you are eating. Really taste and smell your food; think about where it came from, and chew slowly, savoring every bite.
- Just be. Wherever you are, close your eyes, breathe naturally, and just take in your surroundings. What does your seat feel like? What is the temperature of the air around you? Do you smell anything? Just relax and let your surroundings take over for a minute or two. Then, open your eyes and proceed with your day – with renewed vigor!
Meditation not only relieves stress, it can help you sleep better, be healthier, and make you be a kinder person. Sounds like a good thing to try!
To Your Vitality!