You’ve probably heard before that mindfulness and meditation reduces stress. But how exactly does it do so?
Countless scientific evidence from hundreds of universities—including centers dedicated to promoting yoga and meditation research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Oxford—strongly suggests that consistent meditation practice has a positive effect on the brain while providing neurological benefits including anxiety suppression.
Meditation also fosters a healthy perspective allowing you to be more forgiving, grateful, and mindful so that you can be more present and relaxed. This simple practice helps gently build inner strength so that future stressors have less impact on our happiness and physical well-being.
And that’s only just the beginning of the benefits meditation brings. Check out these five ways meditation reduces stress, as well as a list of resources and guided meditations if you’re confused about where to begin.
5 Ways Meditation Reduces Stress
- You become more aware of your thoughts. You can then step back from them and not take them so literally. That way, your stress response is not initiated in the first place.
- You don’t immediately react to a situation. Instead, you have a moment to pause and then use your “wise mind” to come up with the best solution. Mindfulness helps you do this through the mindful exercises (see below)
- You are more aware and sensitive to the needs of your body. You may notice pains earlier and can then take appropriate action.
- Mindfulness practice reduces activity in the part of your brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is central to switching on your stress response, so effectively, your background level of stress is reduced.
- You are better able to focus. So you complete your work more efficiently, you have a greater sense of well-being, and this reduces the stress response. You are more likely to get into “the zone” or “flow,” as it’s termed in psychology.
Now that you understand the ways meditation reduces stress, kickstart your meditation practice with YogaToday. A YogaToday membership with apps for iPhone, Android, Roku and Apple TV give you access to guided meditations, yoga nidra, and meditation challenges as well as an entire library of yoga classes.
Taking the time to meditate can help bring internal awareness so that you can cultivate peace rather than turmoil. Commit to regularly meditating this year so that you can be more compassionate, less stressed, and embrace life in the now, one day at a time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emma Cunningham is a seasoned yogi, writer & digital marketing connoisseur. Nomadic since a young girl, Emma spent three years traveling the globe solo while studying yoga in places like India, China, & Bali. Learn more about Emma here.