All of us experience stress and health challenges in this world. With increasing global climate changes, increasing conflict, and increasingly complex economic challenges, the level of stress has only grown. This increased stress then contributes to things like high blood pressure and declining health. In this article, I intend to share with you a meditation to both help improve your stress levels and health .
Currently our news is filled with headlines of political conflict, military conflict, increased violence, worsening climate changes, economic turmoil, and newer strains of viruses such as COVID or monkeypox. This all adds up to a state of overwhelm from an increasingly threatening world. But despite the newest challenges of our times, there remains one age-old means of countering the states of overwhelm, lowering stress, and improving health. That age-old technique is known as meditation.
Conservative medical organizations such as the National Institute of Health recognize the health benefits of meditation. A study in 2012 published by the NIH highlighted a lowering in blood pressure with larger benefits seeming to come from mantra-based meditation versus mindfulness meditation.
There are many kinds of meditation. Some meditations involve stillness, some movement, some involve complete silence, some involve voicing mantras, and some involve holding certain body poses. Even common everyday activities such as walking, swimming, or biking can be considered meditation. In this article, I’m going to focus on meditation where you remain still for an extended period in a comfortable seated or lying position. Of all the kinds of meditations, I’ve found that the ones that involve stillness are the most beneficial..
My first introduction to meditation was as a child. I was a sickly child. I was contracting the flu regularly once or more a year. Each time I was sick I remember having to recover by spending a day or two in bed getting rest. But this changed when I turned 14. I started working with guided meditations originally to help improve my memory. But meditation had a side effect,it allowed me to recover faster from illness. On my first try at applying meditation for recovery from a flu infection, I was able to accelerate recovery down from a full day to half a day. On the 2nd onset of flu, I was able to recover in 30 minutes! Then for a very long stretch of years, I never caught the flu again. This was potent proof for me that meditation was both helping stress and my health.
I would like to share a version of this very powerful meditation I used when I was a child. To do this meditation please find a quiet safe place where you can either sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Next identify any area of your life where you are feeling fear, stress, anger, or struggle. It can be purely emotional but can also include any physical ailments or discomfort. Notice this area and welcome it into this safe space where we will meditate. All are welcome here, especially those places that do not feel OK. It is OK to not be OK here. That’s why we meditate. We meditate to start bringing acknowledgment, validation and healing to these places in our life.
Now listen to this meditation.
As you come back, please. Notice how you feel. And when you have time again come back and repeat this meditation.