Friday was World Mental Health Day. And the events of this year have put additional pressure on all of us. Mental health problems have risen greatly as people deal with additional problems, such as loneliness and isolation.
Add this to worries about loved-ones, or whether they will have a job to go back to, etc. It seems as though stress and anxiety are becoming commonplace.
Meditation is more popular than ever, in the West
One way to help reduce the effect of these stressors is to start a practice of daily meditation. Even if it’s only for a few minutes each day, it can make a huge difference to you general well-being.
Meditation has been around in Eastern culture for millennia. Yet, even though it’s been practiced in the West for decades now, it’s only recently started to be accepted as a mainstream activity.
Here’s some info from several studies done over the last couple of years (updated 25th March 2022):
- It is estimated that just over 1/4 Billion people around the World meditate regularly. If you’d like to know the estimated percentage of people that meditate in your country, take a look at this extensive article .
- 12% of American men and 16% of American women have Meditated at least once.
- It’s the 2nd most popular Mind and Body activity in the US.
- Meditation has been shown to reduce depression relapses by 12%.
- Shown to increase telomerase by 43% (enzyme that can delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s).
- Mindfulness Meditation is incredibly effective at reducing stress and anxiety.
- There has been a threefold increase in the number of people meditating regularly since 2012.
So, meditation is a great way to relieve stress, clear your mind, and reduce feelings of depression.
And, although there are lots of distinct types of meditation: ie mindful, vipassana, zen, mantra, transcendental, etc. there is one thing that is common to them all. That is simply focusing on the breath.
If you’d like to give it a try, but you’re not sure where to start, read this article first. Once you’re ready, I’ve put a few videos below that demonstrate the technique.
Try them all, then pick your favorite. Once you’ve listened for a few days, jump over to YouTube and try various other meditations until you find a style that resonates with you.
Once you’ve found a style of meditation you like, practice regularly. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make to your life.