How meditation could help you recenter your mental health
From apps to get you started to meditation circles that help you find your zen with friends, meditation has become a bonafide member of the health and wellness bandwagon. There’s good reason, too. According to Everyday Health, meditation has significant mental health benefits; research shows that meditation programs can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Everyone is different, but studies have shown that in some cases meditation has been an effective aspect of treatment for many mental health disorders, even supplementing medication for some people. According to a study from the Department of Veteran Affairs, meditation was consistently beneficial as a tool to manage depression.
Meditation can take many forms and at its core it is about taking time to check-in with your brain. Some types of meditation include Mindfulness Meditation (taking time and attention to notice what is happening in the present moment), Body Scan Meditation (progressive relaxation that involves tensing and releasing your muscles), or even Loving Kindness Meditation (the practice of cultivating an attitude of love and kindness towards everyone and everything). With so many different options, dive in, figure out what works for you and find your zen.
Finding your center can be intimidating, but it does not have to be! Here are a few ways to get started:
Keep the tools at your fingertips. According to the Center for Health Research, the more social media platforms young people use, the more likely they are to experience symptoms of anxiety of depression. So, stop scrolling and use your phone to recenter instead. Check out the growing number of apps intended to help you use your phone to meditate. Of course, feel free to take that totally feelin’ yourself selfie first.
Start your day centered. Psychology Today recommends meditating in the morning if you are trying to make it a regular habit. Meditating in the morning sets the tone for your day; it helps you check in with yourself, your mind and your body before you take on the world.
Live in the moment. Meditation is all about paying attention to the present moment. That means paying attention to people, places, and things that are around you. It also means paying attention to your emotions. So, meditation can be a great way to help you transition from a hot to a cool moment. One study from PubMed found that meditation can be particularly helpful to manage anger. Next time you’re feeling stressed, angry, or anxious take a step back and look in.