Meditation might be the answer to reduce stress and anxiety during the holidays.

Meditation might be the answer to reduce stress and anxiety during the holidays.

In the recent years, mindfulness-based interventions have gained popularity in the treatment of both mental and physical illness. It involves sitting comfortably, focusing on breathing and bringing your attention to the present without thinking about the past or future.

The University in Baltimore, MD sifted through nearly 19,000 meditation studies, they found 47 trials that addressed those issues and met their criteria for well-designed studies. Their findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that mindful meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the new year, try practicing mindful meditation for the following reasons:

Meditation and health

Research shows the effectiveness of mindfulness training on stress reduction and reducing negative mood states, as well as for improving the emotional well-being and quality of life of individuals dealing with chronic physical illness (eg, hypertension, human immunodeficiency virus, depression secondary to pain).

Meditation is different from relaxation

It is important to note that meditation is not the same as relaxation. The practice of mindful meditation is a state of awareness and its purpose is not necessarily for relaxation. Meditative practice may induce an integrated set of physiological changes (eg, lowered heart, breathing, and metabolic rates).

If you need some tips on how to commit to a regular mindfulness practice, try the following:

·       Remember the benefits: If you are experiencing a busy day or don’t feel like practicing meditation, remember why you should practice it and what it can do for you.

·       Allocate a regular time each day to being still: Start by dedicating a few minutes a day during the same time every day.

·       Create a schedule template: try to make it fun by practicing different things every day. Foe example: practice gratitude on Mondays, compassion on Tuesdays, acceptance on Wednesdays etc. Having a “theme” can change up the routine and make it more interesting for yourself.

We encourage you to give meditation a try before the holidays, so you can receive the new year with a positive mindset and open to new opportunities.


1. An update on mindfulness meditation as a self-help treatment for anxiety and depression, Teresa M Edenfield and Sy Atezaz Saeed, Published online 2012 Nov 23

2. Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stressJulie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Photo: Very Well

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