Karen McPhail, RN, MSN
I practice meditation daily and it has truly changed my life, how I manage stress, and how I see the world. I encourage caregivers to explore meditation as a means for moving forward in a positive way and in managing the unpredictable nature of life!
The benefits of meditation are:
1. Stress Management!
Stress is unavoidable, but too much stress is unhealthy and can lead to serious problems. Meditation can help to decrease stress! Taking time to clear your mind and push away the unnecessary clutter that life produces will help to reduce stress and settle your mind going forward. Meditation allows one to reflect and refocus their thoughts with better clarity. You will feel refreshed and able to handle stress better as a result of meditation.
Lately everyone is talking about mindfulness, but what does it mean? Mindfulness is being more aware of your thoughts and actions. Meditation can help with this. Meditation heightens your awareness and helps you to approach life in a more positive and productive way. Stress can again be better managed often times when someone practices meditation and mindfulness. You cannot avoid the unpredictable nature of life, but you can effect how you manage and react to it!
3. Improved thought processes, decision making skills and emotional balance
When you are stressed you often times feel fatigued, unable to think clearly or feel too overwhelmed to handle even simple issues and tasks. Simple issues can set one over the edge emotionally due to overload. Meditation helps to clear the mind and allow for thoughts to flow freely and productively. Meditation will also help you to gain better balance and control over your emotions. Overtime, meditation will assist you to become more in tune with your emotions and help you to control stressors. This will allow you to make better choices and be less reactive. Often times as a caregiver we become reactive and forget to really think before acting. Meditation will help you to settle your mind and be able to clearly process things in a more productive and successful way. This will reduce your overall emotional load too.
4. Setting a Realistic Pace!
We are all moving at an accelerated pace in today's world! We have daily stressors acting on us constantly and forcing us to move and rush. Meditation can help you to take a moment and slow down your pace! You set the pace of your life and sometimes stopping for a few moments helps you to see things clearer and put this in perspective. Meditation helps you to appreciate the simple joys of life and to take control and establish a pace that you can manage.
5. Improved sleep, health, and more!
With stress and worry often comes lack of sleep which will effect your overall health and emotional state! Some people just cannot settle their minds enough to fall asleep, tossing and turning, while others fall asleep due to exhaustion and finds themselves wide awake hours later. Try some simple relaxation / meditating before bedtime. Dim the lights, put on soft music and lay or sit in a comfortable position. Breath slowly in and out concentrating on each breath. If the clutter of the day comes into your mind picture it in a cloud and blow it away and into the distance as you breath out. Let it slowly drift away and allow your body to relax. Having a mantra such as: I am happy, I am peaceful, I am centered, I am grounded, may help. You can repeat this or whatever speaks to you slowly while breathing to stay relaxed and on track. The act of slowing down and deep breathing will help more than you realize and will quickly effect your sleep patterns in a positive way if done consistently. This exercise can be done any time of the day. I usually recommend that people try to find some time in the am and pm to do relaxation and mediation. It is important to begin and end your day on track. Set a realistic time frame such as 5 minutes at the beginning and then go from there. This is different for everyone, so trust your instincts and follow the path as it unfolds for you!
Simply said, meditation will impact your overall physical and mental health, immunity and well being! Meditation with practice is something that you can do at any time and really anywhere. It can be your safety net for difficult times and a daily comfort to keep your life on track!
Give it a try today! If you need additional guidance on getting started you can find amazing resources on the internet! Feel free to also contact me if needed, I am more than happy to help you to get on track!!!