Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it inner peace. See how you can easily learn to practice meditation whenever you need it most.

If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. And you can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

Understanding Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.

During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health.

And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.

Meditation and Emotional Well-Being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Increasing self-awareness
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions
Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.

While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

Anxiety disorders
Asthma
Cancer
Depression
Heart disease
High blood pressure
Pain
Sleep problems

Mindfulness Meditation Instructions:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position. Try to sit in the same place each day. Avoid positions that you might fall asleep in.
    1. The back is long and supports itself.
    2. Shoulders are relaxed downward, the neck is long, and the chin is pointing neither up nor down.
    3. The face is relaxed.
  2. Begin to breathe (preferably through the nostrils). Feel the belly rise, the ribs expand, and the slight movement in the collarbones and shoulders as the breath moves upward. Feel the exhalation.
  3. Focus on one aspect of the breath:
    1. The movement of air in and out of the nostrils
    2. Or the lifting and falling of the belly
  4. Watch that one aspect of the breath.
    1. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath and the aspect you have chosen to watch.
    2. Do this as many times as you need to.
    3. There is no such thing as a good or bad meditation. (Good and bad are judgments, events in the mind—just note them and go back to the breathing.)

Start with 5–10 minutes and then increase the time until you can sit for 30 minutes