Stress is a silent killer. And there is no shortage of it in our fast paced, big-city lives. It burdens our mental health and releases the stress hormone cortisol – a hormone that contributes to cardiovascular disease, obesity, poor glucose control and diabetes.
Enter transcendental meditation. It not only reduces stress substantially, but it may also lead to deeper self-awareness and spiritual development. And it doesn’t have to be about religion — it’s about meditation’s proven effect on our health – not to mention the relaxed mind and body state it creates.
You don’t need special training to meditate. Just grab a pillow and sit down in a peaceful corner of your home, yard or office. Sit up straight and relax your body, ensuring that your shoulders and spine are aligned.
Close your eyes and imagine yourself moving from your head to your toes, or the reverse, and relax each body part as you reach it. Be mindful of inhaling and exhaling as you do this. If a thought enters your mind, follow it neutrally, without judgment. If no thoughts enter your mind, bask in the stillness of your body. Chant the word “ohm”, drawing out and lengthening the word as you utter it. Do this for 5-10 minutes. When you feel you’re done, rub your hands together and gently massage your face. Bring your knees to your chest and open your eyes.
A great time to practice meditation is first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep. It can be challenging to ignore the chatter in your mind, especially if it is casting doubt on your meditation. But you will be amazed at how much tranquility this can bring to your life.