Are we more stressed out today or are we just better at expressing our negative emotions than earlier generations? That may be a chicken and egg question, and it may also be one that’s pointless to consider. It doesn’t really matter if you’re more or less stressed out than your grandparent. What matters are your feelings now and they’re valid.
Stress has many deleterious effects on your health, as you well know, so I won’t bore you by listing them all. The important topic here is how to relieve that stress. There are many schools of thought on this subject and as many stress-relief methods. One that you might have heard a lot about, yet never tried, is meditation. So what’s it all about and should you be doing it?
Meditation is nothing more than taking a few moments to get yourself in those moments. With meditation, you get the opportunity to be quiet, to be still, and simply to be. This in itself can be stressful to some people, as once all the background noise fades, you might be forced to confront issues you’ve been avoiding. That’s why it’s important in those moments to let yourself feel your feelings without judgment.
When you meditate, you may feel a variety of emotions. But those are things you feel. They’re not you. Allow yourself to feel those feelings and then move on with your day and with your life. You might find that after allowing yourself to feel emotions you’ve been avoiding, you are ready to face the day with a clearer, stronger perspective. After all, you felt those feelings and the world didn’t end. Nothing changed but your point of view.
If you’re interested in starting to practice meditation, there are easy ways to get started. You may mind meditation apps helpful, for example. Guided meditation audio tracks are also available through streaming services. A simple way to get started, if you’re still unsure, is just to take a moment to check in with your senses. What do you hear? What do you smell? By checking in with your senses, you force yourself to be in the moment. You become calmer, because you’re not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. You simply are. And that’s not a bad way to be.