The Power of Meditation
by: Kendra Pete
Let’s talk “stress”-a word well known by Americans and every other “nine-to-fiver” that gets stuck in rush hour traffic for that matter. It’s everywhere and hard to escape, so it is expected for the average American to burnout every now and then, right? Whether it’s your boss breathing down your neck or your precious offspring heavily beating on the drum set your cousin Joey got them last Christmas, your chances of being consumed by stress are a lot more likely than completely evading it.
So, how does one escape this stress monster and live freely in a world filled with all sorts of stress inducers? Simple-meditate. Now, about a decade ago, the theory of simply inhaling and exhaling while “removing oneself from thoughts” seemed so foolish and overlooked. Yet, as time progressed, more and more individuals realized the power of escaping all forms of distractions in order to simply “be” including some of your favorite celebrities such as Sir Paul Mcartney, Miguel, Katy Perry, Eva Mendes, Russell Simmons and Oprah Winfrey.
Mind you, all of the Mr. Miyagi talk goes over my head at times, but my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to research the meaning and power of meditation and monitoring one’s breathing cycle in order to have a better perspective of this revolutionary method of relaxation. One definition for “meditation” is the practice of “silencing” the mind in order to increase relaxation resulting in reduced stress levels, lowered blood pressure (scientifically proven), more focused thoughts and many other positive changes in health.
The word derives from two Latin words: “meditari” which means to think, to dwell upon or to exercise the mind and “mederi” which means to heal. Avid “yogis” (people who practice yoga) will be the first to share how meditation brings much mental and emotional clarity as well as an overall sense of rejuvenation throughout the body. Traditional yoga practices will show that meditation actually happens in stages though the average American does not realize.
The American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” survey released about two months ago showed a recent decline in American stress levels going from Americans rating stress as a 6.2 on a scale from 1 to 10 (ten meaning highly stressful) back in 2007 to a 4.9 in 2015.
Maybe this is due to all of the “conscious breathing” taking place these days, who knows? However, one thing is for sure, meditation has become more than a fad and has transformed into something more like a lifestyle that aims toward internal peace and mental awareness.
So, grab a friend (and a yoga mat), find a quiet corner in the house and begin meditating because life is too short to sweat the small stuff. By simply paying attention to the rhythm of your breathing for approximately 30 minutes each day, you can alter your lifestyle, transform your thought processes and create a “mini getaway” right in the comforts of your own home.