By Tori Taylor, June 17 2019 —
Meditation is an age-old practice. Traditionally, it has been a religious or spiritual form of connection with self. Meditating can be a form of prayer that allows people to feel close to their recognized higher power and many religions use meditative practices to connect with their beliefs on a deeper level. However, in many countries, the use of meditation has moved away from religion and towards mental well-being. Presently, meditation is widely used by many people who choose not to involve any religious aspect at all. The act of consciously tapping into the present moment — without letting past or future issues overwhelm the mind — has proven to be a great tool for relieving anxiety. Most meditation styles aim to allow a person to bypass unwelcome emotions, moods and/or negative thoughts by tuning into the smaller, immediate details presently around them.
Researchers at the Centre for Wellness and Achievement in Education in San Francisco, CA conducted a study proving that individuals practicing meditation experience much less anxiety and stress at work than their peers who do not meditate.
A popular method of transcendental meditation can be as simple as finding a meaningful, positive mantra to repeat for a designated amount of time. A mantra may be a word, a sound, a solid thought or a phrase. This repetition allows the mind to focus on something small and flush out all the excess that causes stress and anxious thought patterns.
Movement meditation is another wonderful way to tap into the present moment and let go of nagging thoughts or emotions that can bring your mental health down. Many people use exercise as a mind clearing tool. Yoga and running are two popular examples of consciously being in your body while focusing on your breath and movement. Both of these exercises require an individual to focus heavily on their breathing and bodily coordination instead of rushing thoughts and anxiety.
For some, it can be very difficult to sit still in the present moment and the idea of quiet meditation may cause more anxiety. Movement mediation may be an easier way to ease into a regular meditation practice.
If you are interested in trying out a form of meditation you don’t need to look very far. Calgary offers several class styles at different yoga studios. Have a look online and find out what is affordable and in your area. You can also register in online courses or download phone apps, making it more accessible for you to meditate anywhere and at any time.