a man meditation in front of the landscape view

Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress

Meditation can wipe away the day’s stress, bringing with it inner peace. See how you can easily learn to practice meditation whenever you need it most.

If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, consider trying meditation. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace. Anyone can practice meditation. It’s simple and inexpensive, and it doesn’t require any special equipment.

You can practice meditation wherever you are — whether you’re out for a walk, riding the bus, waiting at the doctor’s office or even in the middle of a difficult business meeting.

Understanding meditation

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

Meditation and emotional well-being

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions

Meditation and illness

Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress. With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems

Be sure to talk to your health care provider about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have any of these conditions or other health problems. In some cases, meditation can worsen symptoms associated with certain mental and physical health conditions.

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