Meditation for Stress Relief
Scientific studies indicate that meditation is an effective way to reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. One of the great advantages of meditation is it can be practiced without any special tools or equipment. You can take a short ten minute meditation break without leaving your desk.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a type of mind/body practice that integrates mental activities, such as thoughts or images, with physical activities, such as breathing or relaxation. The goal is to create a state of mental calmness and physical relaxation.
Not all that long ago the word “meditation” conjured up images of robed gurus, incense and sitar music. Today, many employee wellness programs, including Wellness and Integrative Health at the University of Utah prescribe meditation to improve people’s overall health and mental resilience.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation focuses your awareness on mental thoughts and physical sensations in the present moment, and keeps your attention focused in the moment without getting distracted by past memories, inner dialogs or emotional associations. Mindfulness meditation can be performed sitting, lying down, standing, even walking! Frequency is important because how often you practice correlates with the magnitude of the benefits gained.
If you have never tried meditation before, you may feel at a loss about what to do or how to assess the state of your mind/body interaction. One great way to get started is to attend one of our FREE Introduction to Mindfulness Sessions, offered on Wednesdays through the month of July. No experience is necessary. Just come in comfortable clothing and let the session leader guide you through the learning process. Your mind and body will thank you!
More experienced meditators will be interested in our Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, held every Wednesday for eight weeks starting on August 9, and finishing up with a full-day retreat. For more details and to register, visit the Wellness & Integrative Health page.
Ireland, T, “What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?” Scientific American: Guest Blog, June 12, 2017, accessed June 17, 2017.
“Meditation: In Depth”, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), NCCIH Pub No. D308, April 2016, accessed June 17, 2017.