If school, friends, or family life have been stressing you out lately, there’s a treatment out there that might help. And the best part? It doesn’t cost a thing!
Meditation is “the practice of focusing the mind for relaxation,” and it’s a skill that can be practiced anywhere you feel safe and comfortable. A lot of people think that they need a teacher or a class to learn how to start meditating; while those two things can be helpful for some, they’re not vital to developing a healthy meditation routine. Here’s a simple guide on how to learn to meditate to help with stress management.
How to Learn to Start Meditating and Improve Stress Management
There are really only three things required to start meditating:
- A quiet, comfortable space (where you won’t be interrupted)
- A desire to focus on your breath or a simple word (like “breathe”)
- The ability to let your own judgements go
After finding your quiet place, put yourself into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and start concentrating on your breath. If you notice your thoughts start to wander, don’t worry or judge yourself! Simply bring your thoughts back to your meditation word or to experiencing your breath, and then see how long you can stay there, gently bringing your thoughts back in whenever they wander.
Initially, you may only be able to meditate for a few minutes each time, and that’s totally fine! Like anything, meditating gets easier with practice.
The Stress-Busting Benefits of Meditation
A growing body of research shows that meditation itself may help with anxiety and depression, and when combined with “conventional medicine,” may be able to help manage symptoms of insomnia, pain, and digestive issues. Additionally, the effects of a strong meditation practice may have lasting results. A small study conducted by faculty from the Yale School of Medicine in 2011 found that experienced meditators (people who have been practicing for 10 years) “showed decreased activity in the areas linked to attention lapses, anxiety, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and plaque buildup in Alzheimer disease.”
Stress and anxiety can have some real and frustrating physical and mental side effects, including triggering cold sores. Combat stress with meditation, and combat cold sores with Abreva, an FDA-approved, nonprescription cold sore medicine clinically proven to help shorten healing time. When used at the first sign, Abreva can get rid of your cold sore in 2 1/2 days1.
1Median healing time 4.1 days. 25% of users healed in 2.5 days.