Meditate, don’t medicate: Combatting stress naturally
High stress levels can leave you feeling irritable, anxious and greatly impair your ability to focus. In a high-stress work environment, it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle where you become stressed, are unable to focus, and then your work becomes harder to do efficiently, leading to more stress.
At this point, many would reach for the medicine cabinet. Yet there are natural ways to establish mental wellness and balance. Before you medicate, meditate. Here are four ways regular meditation can help you find wellness:
- Meditation eliminates mental clutter
With practice, you can train yourself to meditate in a short space of time and create mental calm whenever you need. Racing thoughts are sign of growing anxiety and stress. Meditating helps you to let go of pressing concerns for a time, providing you with the space you need to restock crucial mental energy.
- Meditation teaches you to breathe for health
Even though it’s something we do without thinking, breathing can impact negatively on our health precisely because we do it so unconsciously. When you are stressed, your breathing is shallower. This is not effective for getting maximum oxygen to the brain, and thus doesn’t help lack of mental focus. Deep breathing exercises that you can learn as part of meditating provide a calmative that doesn’t require a prescription, only conscious use of your body.
- It can help lower your blood pressure
A study conducted by Harvard Medical School discovered that meditation lowers blood pressure by making the body respond less to stress hormones.
The effect is comparable to blood pressure-lowering medication, so before you medicate you might want to try for yourself and see the effects of meditating.
- It can improve digestive disorders
Studies have also found that people who suffer from digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) also benefit from meditation, so much so that meditation is now one of the recommended treatments for IBS sufferers.
Stress can be debilitating, but before you medicate away problems that can be addressed via natural means, try meditating and discover the increased wellness this ancient practice promotes.