In Hong Kong and throughout the world modern inventions have provided humankind with many conveniences, from as basic as electricity to more recent innovations such as smartphones and tablets.  It would be hard to imagine what it would be living without all these modern conveniences. However, the advancements enjoyed by today’s society have also brought some inconveniences and troubling issues, and one of the most prevalent negatives is stress. One can argue that stress has become the bane of the 21st-century existence. Fortunately, stress is not something we have to hold onto, and meditation reduces stress simply and effectively.

Causes of Stress

Stress can be due to numerous factors such as intensified workload for increased productivity, obsession with competition, and the constant search for perfection. It can also be attributed to the difficulty of balancing work and personal life as well as major changes in social standards. There are many reasons humanity is so stressed, but the good news is there are many ways to help reduce our stress and meditation has been proven to help.

Stress is a Worldwide Problem

What’s even more worrying about stress is that it affects anyone, young and old. Stress also affects all social groups; it would be true to say there are very few who can escape its effects. In the United States alone, stress & anxiety disorders are affecting millions of people. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million people, aged 18 years and above have anxiety. This translates to around 18% of the country’s population.  Out of that number, around 7 million suffer from general anxiety disorder while 15 million have a social anxiety disorder.  Another 15 million people are believed to have a major depressive disorder and close to 8 million have post-traumatic stress disorder.

Unlike conditions such as flu or a cough, where medications can be prescribed, treatment of these mental health requires a different approach. Indeed, there’s no surgery for anxiety and depression. Fortunately, meditation presents an effective and easy means of coping with depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.

How to Meditate

The concept being meditated upon can sometimes require or recommend a specific form of meditation, but we can find similarities among most meditation techniques. The first step in meditation is to calm the body by just focusing on a gentle breath. Or you can just sit in a comfortable position, eyes closed, and concentrate on relaxing the entire body, by scanning it from head to toe. When the body is relaxed, you can then focus on the meditative object. For example, mindfulness practitioners would concentrate on things related to the present moment, like their own heartbeat or sensations on their skin. Alternatively, someone meditating to reduce pain may focus on a visualisation of a healing blue light surrounding the area of pain and numbing it. Meditation is a valuable tool that can assist in many tasks by teaching you to pause, breath and let go.  

Meditation is particularly useful in reducing stress. It is good to catch the ‘stressors’ early and do short meditations. A 2-minute breathing meditation is very effective with helping the stress disappear and allowing relaxation to take its place. It is better to do more short meditations, than to hold onto the stress for a week and attempt a longer weekly meditation.

Research shows that meditation is good for the health. Give it a go, what have you to lose?

Meditation Reduces Stress
By Liz McCaughey©Copyright 2019 aMindset.HK

Liz McCaughey 

Date: 23 Sep 19

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About Liz McCaughey

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Liz is an international guest speaker who has presented workshops at business and universities in Australia. Liz has recently opened her new business aMindset in Hong Kong. aMindset is a comprehensive mental health resource that incorporates Psychotherapy, Counselling, Mentoring and Workshops. Liz’s first company, the KumaraHub  started in Perth, Western Australia in 2003. You can read more about the KumaraHub HERE.