#9 Ways How Meditation Can Strengthen Our Mind, Body, and Soul
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With the change in time and changing situation, we all are under pressure. For some its work and for some its family and life, but at the core, it is all stress and anxiety. The outbreak of the Covid-19 has just contributed more to the distress.
When we are busy working, we often tend to ignore our mental health. For the longest time, we have given supreme importance to physical health over mental. But what we fail to understand that both are equally important.
Meditation is the key to balance both our mental and physical health, which plays a curial role in handling stress and anxiety. To understand how mediation can help us stay calm when working from home, Entrepreneur India spoke to Dr. Priya Kaul, a Spiritual Life Coach, and Holistic wellness expert. Here's a full guide by Kaul who tells how meditation can boost our mind and mood when working from home.
Defined as a means to connect with inner self and almighty, meditation can do wonders. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as “the act of giving your attention to only one thing, either as a religions activity or as a way of becoming calm and relaxed,” or “serious thought or study, or the product of this activity.” Meditation forms can involve focusing, relaxing, pondering, or the expression of these, as in the famed Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
How to Meditate?
For beginners, it is important to follow certain rules and guidelines while practicing meditation for effective results. Kaul explains the process:
1. First of all, sit or lie comfortably. If you want you may do it on the floor, or these days you can easily invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
2. Next is to close your eyes. It is recommended to use any cooling eye mask or pad to calm the eyes and improve concentration. Also, to make a soothing experience, keep mild fragrance in the room. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
3. Later, focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. It is important to notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly.
4. Next, as you feel comfortable, start focusing on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind feels distracted, return your focus to your breath.
5. During the initials days, maintain this meditation practice for 2-3 minutes a day and then try it for longer periods.
#9 Benefits of Meditation to Boost Your Mind and Mood
1. Reduces stress
It has been proven that regular stress spikes the stress hormone called cortisol. Spike in this hormone leads to many harmful side effects such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.
"When facing such problems, practice meditation regularly. It will help to improve conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia, which are often the most obvious side effects of stress," said Kaul.
2. Controls anxiety
Anxiety has been an alarming problem that many of us are suffering from. Talking about the same Kaul suggests, "It has been found that habitual meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related health issues like social anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors. It often helps control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments too."
3. Brings into moment
It has been observed that due to work stress people often forget the purpose of life. The pressure is so much that many forget little things matter in life.
"Even after being with family and friends, they are not present at the moment. Regular meditation helps you bring in the moment and makes you live life to the fullest," she points out.
4. Helps in thought clarity
Clarity of thoughts is vital be it for making any personal or professional decision. If you are finding it difficult to make decisions at a certain point in time, that's when you need to turn towards meditation.
"It has been proven that deep breathing as a part of meditation helps remove the clashes of thoughts and furnishes you with clear views and improved decision-making capacity," she said.
5. Balances Emotional Health
Building emotions leads to effective that damages one's mental peace. Stress leads to the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that affects the human mood and often lead to depression.
Kaul explains how it has been found that regular meditation reduces signs of depression by decreasing these inflammatory chemicals.
6. Enhances Self-Awareness
There are times when we are thrown into situations where we are unaware of the purpose and role of a given designation. This pushes us to a dark corner.
"When you don't know how to function right, practice meditation. Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you 'know yourself'. This can be a starting point for making other positive changes," she said.
7. Improves Attention
If you think that your work hours get stretched due to lack of concentration and attention power, meditation can change that.
"When facing such problems, seek advice, and help from a professional. Indulge in 4-8 weeks of mindfulness meditation course for effective results," she recommends.
8. Generate Kindness
While we all know of basic meditation, some advanced levels can bring a massive change in our lives.
"Metta, a type of advanced meditation is known as loving and kindness meditation. If practiced under the supervision of an expert, it can help begin the kindness thoughts, and sympathy towards others," she said.
9. Improves Sleep
The most impactful result of regular meditation is improved sleep. It often happens that due to hectic work life people lose appetite and sleep, but regular meditation helps you relax and control the "runaway" thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.
Risks Involved and How to Manage
According to an international survey conducted in 2019, 99 percent of people express the wish to work remotely at least once in their life and then continue the same for the rest of their career. Another survey around the same suggested that people prefer to work from home to be in a comfort zone, give time to family, more productivity, and saving more money. But, in the present time, when circumstances have made us work from home, there are two issues that people often face and those are: work-life balance and feeling isolated. And it has been observed that both these issues lead to multiple health and psychological disorders in average adults.
"There is a rise in this frequent problem and one needs to work towards making it better. It is suggested that one take small breaks after every two hours and give attention to family and kids in those minimal breaks. This will not only keep your mind at ease but will also make your family feel important," she said.
In fact, this period is very challenging for extroverts. Kaul suggested to make the best use of technology and connect with people and friends via video calls and calm down. And in case you find it difficult, sit in a calm space, play some calming music and take a deep breath. Practice this sincerely for 15 days and experience the difference.