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Between the chaos of work, balancing your family activities, and keeping up with household chores, when do you find the time for yourself? Do you check in with your mental well- being often? When do you find the time to relax?   

Meditation is described as “mind-body complementary medicine” by the Mayo Clinic. Meditation is an easy and peaceful way to reconnect with your mind and give yourself time to sort through your thoughts. The emotional and physical benefits of meditation are long long-lasting, even when you are done meditating. 

The emotional benefits include but are not limited to: 

  • Gaining new perspectives in stressful situations
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Increased imagination and creativity
  • Increased patience and tolerance 

Meditation can also help with the physical symptoms of: 

  • Anxiety/Depression 
  • Asthma 
  • Cancer 
  • Chronic Pain 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Migraines  

There are many types of meditation you can try. From a mental aspect, guided meditation, mantra meditation, and mindfulness meditation are all forms of meditation done inside your own mind. You use your thoughts to visualize peaceful things, think about calming phrases, or increase your awareness of living in a present moment and accepting it. On a physical level, there are options to meditate using physical motion. Qi gong, Tai chi, and yoga are great options to relax your body and mind and reconnect them as one. 

But what about finding time to meditate? Most beginners meditate for a few minutes at a time. When your alarm goes off in the morning or right before bed, try mindfulness meditation. Accepting that moment and bringing in positive thoughts can start or end your day on a happy note. While you’re stuck in traffic or singing in the shower, try a guided meditation or envision a calming place. These simple methods may go a long way in helping you destress! 

Written By: Kelly McCasland, Family Life Intern, Human Services Program Administration, Eastern Illinois University

Sources: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858   

 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/meditation  

 https://www.mhanational.org/meditation