As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, we have launched this blog series dedicated entirely to different areas of mental wellness. These blogs are based on a mental wellness initiative that we have launched within our communities for our residents entitled “Recharge Your Battery”. This initiative focuses on mental wellness strategies and equips our associates with the tools they need to check in with our residents and to address any needs, just as we would with physical health.
For today’s topic, we’ll be focusing on meditation. Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body. Meditation creates a “relaxation response” which has been linked to less anxiety, lower blood cortisol levels, more feelings of well-being and less stress. While some people may be hesitant to try meditation, we’ve compiled some powerful statistics that show how powerful this practice can be for the mind and for overall wellness.
- Meditation reduces insomnia by 50%.
- Mindfulness meditation reduces post-traumatic stress disorder by 70%.
- Practicing meditation for only four days can already increase your attention span.
- Meditation in a span of six to nine months can reduce anxiety levels by 60%.
- People who practice meditation are less likely to suffer from heart diseases.
- Meditation lowers blood pressure for 80% of the people who practice it.
- 60% of people who practice meditation find that it improves their energy, while for 50%, meditation aids in their memory and focus.
- Regular meditation practice increases telomerase, an enzyme known to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.
Are you ready to give meditation a try? Refer to the below instructions for a simple introduction to the practice.
- Sit or lie comfortably on a chair, cushion or the floor.
- Close your eyes.
- Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
- Deeply inhale, pause. Deeply exhale, pause.
- If your mind starts to wander, simply come back to focusing on your breath.
- Notice the movement of your body as you breathe.
- Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity.
- Repeat this for as long as you need. Even five minutes a day can help tremendously to calm the mind and to re-center the body.