Last week we kicked off August Wellness Month with a look into the importance of incorporating engaging hobbies into our lifestyle and launched our internal “CSG Steps” challenge to raise money for No Kid Hungry.
As we continue to work our way to 10,000 steps each day, we are certain to feel overwhelmed with trying to find enough time in the day to accomplish it all—work, exercise, quality time with friends and family, etc. Today we would like to present a way to combat the stress and anxiety life may bring by taking part in mindfulness meditation.
Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation, a mental exercise in which one focuses deeply on their surroundings and sensations, leads to a significant reduction of the inflammatory responses caused by stress. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, restless sleep, and can trigger an increase in levels of anxiety and depression. The mindfulness meditation practice to reduce stress can take form in various breathing exercises, mental imagery, environmental awareness (sights, sounds, smells), and muscle and body relaxation.
The benefits of this meditation practice present a positive correlation with high levels of stress. The more stressed an individual feels, the more meditation can significantly reduce those stress levels. Dedicating a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation can help lower blood pressure and anxiety, reduce the likelihood of depression, improve sleep, sharpen our attention span, and even slow age-related memory loss; all by simply taking a spare moment or two to be still, breathe, and focus on our surroundings.
Life can be chaotic. It comes as no surprise taking a few minutes to be still can have significant benefits on our overall health and wellbeing. If you’re saying to yourself,”I don’t have a spare minute in my day,” we would like to challenge you to start small with 1-2 minutes of deep breathing and see the immediate benefit creating a sense of calmness can bring.
If you would like additional tools to get started on your mindfulness journey, here are a few apps and resources we recommend: