It is no secret that we are connected in more ways today than we ever have been before. The electronic age has drastically changed how we communicate with others, share information and connect in the workplace. Our hands are full of digital noise that constantly streams information of what could be or should be. Smart phones and iPads have changed the landscape of the already hard to achieve “work/life balance."
For many, there is no leaving work at the office when your co-workers can text you in an instant, see what you are doing via Facebook, or video chat with you all over the world. The endless attachment to everyone and everything can build a ball of stress inside you that you don’t see coming. An escape from the clutter is what apps such as HeadSpace provide. With a tap of your finger, you are transported into an exercise of quiet thinking and mindful meditation. This small dose of detachment can provide more to your life than you might think and is worth a try.
What is Mindful Mediation?
The origin of mindful meditation comes to us through a Buddhist tradition. Unlike traditional meditation, mindful meditation “is not directed toward getting us to be different from how we already are. Instead, it helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us be present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is” (2).
We could all use practice in being present. How many dinner conversations are interrupted by an Instagram upload or game nights are replaced with a Netflix binge? Are we attempting to replace the reality of where we stand with a technological alternative?
Over 3.3 million Americans are faced with anxiety today. A nation that once thrived in its identity as hard workers are now over-stressed and more sick in comparison. We are in a decline of innovative livelihoods and in an increase of depression. But what if we could turn that statistic around by simply taking 5-10 minutes to clear our minds?
Numbers Don’t Lie
Numerous studies have been conducted to show the benefits and physiological results of meditation. All conclusions have proven those who meditate each day experience:
-Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen intake
-Less feelings of anxiety or nervousness
-Better pain management for chronic pain patients
-Better sleep schedule and feeling well rested
-Less fear of death
-Reduction in the cortisol hormone (the stress hormone)
Other Ways to Escape
If a mindful meditation app isn’t the tool for you, don't worry. There are numerous ways to gain a little inner perspective.
- Massage Therapy
- Osteopathic Manipulation
- Deep breathing techniques
- Music Therapy
- Taking a walk
- Getting some exercise
- Enjoying a warm drink (no alcohol or caffeine)