By: Emily Kobel, IF Trainer

We have all heard at least once how beneficial meditation can be in managing our hectic lives. However, did you know that meditation can not only help you manage stress but also your blood pressure, sleep, risk of heart disease, and increase the feeling of a general sense of balance and connection? What really is meditation though? It consists of controlled breathing, quiet contemplation, focus on your life and events, or maybe even a specific focus on an image, phrase or sound. The goal of meditation is to calm yourself and feel at peace so that you are capable of managing stress in your life. Meditation can also be your own little escape from everything, think of it as a mini vacation!

Stress is evident in everyone’s life. It is our body’s alarm system and it releases adrenaline which causes a speed up in your breathing, heart rate, and a rise in blood pressure. This increase is a part of your body’s fight or flight response triggered by stress. While this response is often a good thing, having it occur too often in your day to day life can lead to some expenses to your health in the future.

The American Heart Association explains that there is research that shows incorporating some type of meditation in your life can help with the following; one’s ability to process information, decrease the effect of aging cognitively, lower inflammation, support one’s immune system, reduce systems that come with menopause, control over our brain’s pain response, and improve quality of sleep!

Meditation is something you can and should start incorporating in your daily life activities. It can be super simple such as just reflecting on your day or sitting quietly and focusing only on your breathe. There are other types of meditation such as moving meditation, which can include Tai Chi and yoga, and there are sedentary types such as transcendental or mindfulness meditation. I challenge you to give meditation a try and it does not have to take long!