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Learn to meditate during times of uncertainty

Have you been feeling more on the edge and anxious lately? See why learning to meditate can help you feel more in control of your mental state and more in control of your life.

 

Meditation benefits

Learn to meditate during times of uncertainty

Uncertainty is what leads us to project into the future. Picturing worst-case scenarios for different situations that relate to us as individuals, such as our jobs, our friends, and our family, so undoubtedly with the current situation with Covid-19 many of us may be experiencing some of these woes. It may even be causing us unwanted stress, anxiety, or in worst-case scenarios also to feel depressed.

What is it about the uncertainty that makes us feel like this?

When we worry about what the future holds, we can unintentionally prompt the release of our stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine which may cause physical symptoms like heart pounding or tense muscles, both of which will continue the feedback loop to the brain, signaling we are under stress.

When we keep stress hormones elevated for long periods, it can cause damaged blood vessels or increased risk of heart attacks or strokes, and mentally being in a continual state of fight or flight can lead to the development of anxiety or feeling low.

This is why we should meditate.

Meditation helps us to melt away the build-up of stress in the body and can even help to reverse the stress response.

When stress from worrying about the future keeps us in a state of fight or flight, meditation does the opposite by continuing us in a mental ‘stay in play state’, meaning we can stay in the present for longer.

There’s the further value of releasing serotonin and dopamine, which are essentially the opposite of cortisol and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters make us feel good and help us focus on the things we ought to be focusing on.

Certain types of meditation will have better effects on stress.

One of the biggest frustrations for those encouraging others to include meditation in their lives is that when others hear the word meditation, they lose interest. Either because they’ve tried to meditate in the past and found it too difficult to ‘quieten the mind’ or maybe they felt they were too busy to have the time.

The thing that everyone needs to know is that there are many different forms of meditation, and many do not involve focused attention that includes large amounts of mental energy. Furthermore, some of the best meditation techniques only require 20 minutes out of your day.

If your worrying is causing issues with the amount of sleep you are getting or your ability to fall asleep, then you could try yoga Nidra which is a straightforward form of meditation that anyone can do and involves focusing the attention on different locations of the body as well as sounds around you. This is also a great way to increase the amount of dopamine in your brain, which can help you to pay attention and feel more motivated.

For those that don’t like the idea of being still and having to focus their attention using only the mind, Yoga is also a form of meditation. When we practice Yoga, we carry out focused attention that, when done in a non-biased way (i.e., we are entirely focused on a pose or body position) without experiencing any emotion, we experience significant calming benefits that are on a par with those from correctly carried out meditation.

We recommend experimenting with the different forms of Yoga to find a style that is right for you; however, with various types, it may take time for you to succeed at the practice, so don’t give up.

 

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