As sad as it is to say, stress surrounds us. It is inevitable that something may happen in your life where it can cause you to be anxious, lash out and not be present in the current moment. As humans we are constantly thinking about the future and don’t take a moment in the day that can save us from feeling negative to realize we are already living life. It’s a matter of how we choose to deal with that stress that can be the underlying factor to how much we can gain out of our own life.
Meditation has been around for ages and was meant to help the understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. Nowadays, meditation is used for stress reduction, realignment and relaxation. According to Medical News Today, stress and anxiety are common causes of muscle tension. By practicing meditation, a person can help elevate the pain that is caused from tension. A person may clench their jaw or grind their teeth when stressed, without noticing. Over time this can cause the muscles to tighten up causing discomfort.
What Can Meditation Do For YOU?
According to Mayo Clinic, meditation can give you a sense of balance, peace, and causes a feeling of calmness that benefits your health and emotional well-being. The benefits of meditation aren’t temporary. With practice and consistency, you will be able to manage any situation and carry out your day more calmly than you would have expected.
Some emotional benefits of meditation include:
Building skills to manage your stress
Increasing patience and tolerance
Reducing negative emotions
Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Focusing on the present
Increasing imagination and creativity
As some research suggests, practicing meditation may help people manage conditions such as anxiety, depression, cancer, asthma, heart disease, sleep problems, high blood pressure, and tension headaches.
Types of Meditation
Meditations come in a variety of shapes and forms some of which include guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, yoga, transcendental meditation, qi gong and tai chi. Although it may be overwhelming you can simply start even sitting at your desk, which makes it the perfect practice for midday rejuvenation while at work.
To meditate at your desk, you will have to sit upright with a straight back and your feet on the floor forming a 90-degree angle with your knees. Scooting in your chair may help you get into the right position.
Seven-Point Meditation Posture
The seven-point meditation posture is an approach to sitting while meditation, you are welcome to adjust anything that doesn't help you feel more relaxed and focused on in your meditation. Having to manage seven things at once all while trying to meditate seems like a lot, but with practice it will become second nature.
The seven points to focus on:
Sitting- You can use a cushion or bench to support you in most positions, but you want to sit in a quarter, half or full lotus position, as well as with your legs crossed as long as your hips are elevated higher than your heels.
Spine- It is of utmost importance to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Hands- You may rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down.
Shoulders- Should stay relaxed and comfortable as you draw them slightly back and down.
Chin- Keep your chin slightly tucked while maintaining length in the back of your neck. This will also help you maintain your posture as elongating your neck is key.
Jaw- Try to release any tension you are holding in your jaw; it can be helpful to slightly open your mouth as you press your tongue against the roof of your mouth.
Gaze- Most people find it easier to meditate with their eyes closed as it takes away from any sort of physical distraction. You can meditate with your eyes open if you maintain an unfocused gaze on the floor or a few feet ahead of you.
It is important to take care of yourself before wanting to take care of others, a simple and effective way to do so is meditation and reminding yourself to unclench that jaw in times of stress and agony. With just a few minutes a day and consistent practice improving your overall well-being and quality of life is not far out of reach.
Written by: Zena Hattar, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
2. Mayo Clinic