Have you ever wondered about ways to manage stress in Rochester? I bet you have. Especially in the past few months. There are so many things that are suddenly out of our control. The simplest of daily activities like doing groceries or visiting family suddenly have become an ordeal.
At Willem Verweij Physical Therapy we aim to help your wellbeing on all levels – Physically and emotionally. We know that taking care of one has a positive effect on the other. One thing you can do to address your emotional wellbeing and manage stress is meditation. Several weeks ago we had the pleasure of talking to Heather Day, she is the owner of Upala Yoga & Wellness Arts in Rochester, about the benefits of meditation; some common misconceptions about meditation; and some simple techniques that can help you get started TODAY.
You can click here to watch the entire interview.
I want to highlight a few misconceptions Heather tackled in this interview:
- Meditation is NOT difficult to learn
- It is NOT “weird”
- It does not require a lot of time to do one session (Got 5 minutes?)
- Nor does it require a lot of time to learn and start seeing results (It does get better and better with practice. Many feel a positive change from day one)
- You can, but definitely do not need to, sit on the floor (I don’t)
The benefits of meditation can include:
- Decreased stress levels
- Decreased “stress response” (maybe more about that some other day. Go ahead and Google it! It’s how your body reacts to a state of stress and leads to decreased health of many body systems)
- Decreased heart rate and decreased blood pressure
Some tips to get your meditation practice started:
Heather walks you through the steps of “how” she teaches meditation in Rochester in the last 11 minutes of the interview. I recommend that you watch the entire video.
- Find a quiet, uncluttered, space (if that’s not possible, close your eyes and pretend everything is quiet)
- Find a comfortable position. Lay down, sit on the floor on a bolster, lean back against the wall, sit in a chair, lay down on your bed, etc.)
- Use a blanket to keep you warm if needed
- Set a timer (so you don’t need to peek and don’t have to be afraid you’ll fall asleep). 5 minutes could be a great start. If you have 10, 15, or 20 minutes even better.
- Don’t try to be perfect right away, or ever. Worst thing that could happen is you have 5 minutes of relative quiet all to yourself!
- Try it. Today!
Two meditation techniques in a nutshell (check out the video for more)
- Breath in for 4 seconds, pause 4 seconds, breath out 4 seconds. If you feel you can go longer and it feels good, go ahead and try to lengthen your breath by 1 second to 5, 6, 7, maybe 8 seconds. You can find your own sweet spot – This is the simplest thing you can do.
- Do a Body Scan – Find your comfortable spot and posture. Just “notice” the top of your head, then your nose, throat, ears, jaw, shoulders, etc. That’s it, just pay attention to those spots. Is it warm? Cold? Feel a breeze? Relaxed? Tight? Etc.
Start small, don’t judge yourself, start seeing some results, make it a new habit if you like it!