“When you can maintain a level of inner tranquility no matter what is happening around you, you can avoid the damage that stress causes to your health.”
-– Gerald S. Cohen, DHom, DC, FIHI founder of The Center for the Healing Process
None of us escapes traumatic events, big or small, usually both. Family, health, and financial worries, world events, lingering grief, and social isolation can challenge even the most resilient among us.
You may intuit that too much stress is bad but not know how to deal with it healthfully. Maybe you’re resigned to living in a state of hypervigilance. I get it because I lived in that always-on mode for decades. Chronic stress is what led to me developing MS at 19, and learning how to unwind from it was key to my complete healing in my forties.
The very good news is that taming the stress reaction and engaging the relaxation response is way easier than you may have imagined, and it doesn’t require much time or effort. While you’ve undoubtedly heard of meditation, you may feel put off by the baggage the word implies: some mystical experience related to an Eastern Asian religion, reserved for monks, or at least for people who have an extra hour to themselves.
Or, maybe you’ve tried meditation but felt like you failed because you couldn’t stop your thoughts; or maybe you’ve tried one type and didn’t resonate with it so you didn’t stick with it.
The goal of meditation is not to stop your thoughts, it’s to loosen your attachment to them. And when you’re not tethered to the emotional ups and downs that your thoughts create, you are more free to choose your response rather than be tossed around in a reactive mode like a tiny boat in stormy seas.
So, before you give up or stop before trying, consider the numerous scientifically-proven benefits of meditating, even a little.
Meditating even a little has profound health benefits:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Reduced depression
- Increased resilience
- Lessened pain
- Lowered blood pressure
- improved vitality and mood
- Increased creativity
- Enhanced intuition
- And even increased brain size
- to name a few!
Just Take Five
Don’t have 45-60 minutes to meditate? No worries. Start with five minutes. Don’t know how? In this video I give an overview of meditation and then lead you through a super simple and quick guided meditation. Note that the guided part starts around the 5 minute mark of this 10-minute video.
We all have five minutes a day that we can give to ourselves. But deciding to prioritize that time and actually doing it requires commitment to your well being above everything else. Consider the wise words of airline personnel: Put your own oxygen mask on first!
While many people resist taking care of themselves first because they think it’s selfish, but it’s actually the opposite. Prioritizing your emotional wellbeing gives you more energy and capacity for your daily roles and responsibilities. When you are calm and centered everything flows better, inflammation subsides, your immune system is rejuvenated, your mood improves, and you are building a better brain.
During this time of increased external stressors, we can all use a little more peace of mind. You have the ability to give yourself this gift of inner freedom any time you choose. My hope is that you become more resilient so that you can ride the inevitable, uncomfortable waves of life instead of being tumbled or crushed by them.
To your good health and happiness!
p.s. If you are struggling with autoimmunity and you’re ready, willing, and able to reclaim your best life, and you live in the U.S. except for N.Y (sorry, crazy state laws) I invite you to book a complementary discovery call with me. You will gain more clarity, greater confidence, and expert guidance on best steps forward. You can do it. I can help.