You may have heard that meditation is something you should try. Friends swear by it, celebrities love it, and the internet can’t stop talking about it. But why, exactly? 

Meditating can do something different for everyone, but there’s one common thread: it can promote health and happiness. 

The act of meditating means training yourself to be mindful; that is, to stay in the present moment and focus on what you’re doing right here, right now. For most of us, this doesn’t come naturally, because well … we’re only human. It’s natural to obsess over the past or worry about the future. For example, thoughts like “What should I eat for dinner?” or “Did I really do my best yesterday?” may be keeping you distracted from reading this very sentence. 

Anxiety about the past or future can take a toll on our health — especially now with what’s going on in the world. The added worry means we’re more likely to experience stress and the physical symptoms that come with it.

Sneaking some meditation and mindfulness into your everyday life can help you manage this new strain on your mind. It’s about training yourself to let thoughts and feelings come and go, without letting them get stuck on repeat. With practice, it can mean higher awareness, fewer distractions, and less stress — helping you take care of both your mind and body. 

Here are just a few of the many benefits of meditation and mindfulness:

Stress less

Stress isn’t all in your head. It can cause your body to react with symptoms like headaches, fatigue, or a faster heart rate. Meditation trains the mind to relax, so your body can better respond to tough situations. According to the American Heart Association, meditation might even be a helpful part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Manage anxiety

The mind is a funny place. Even when you’re not facing a stressful situation, anxiety can sneak up on you and cause a stress response anyway. Meditation helps you recognize when you’re having anxious thoughts, so you can let them go instead of letting them take over.

Sleep soundly

We’ve all experienced those non-stop thoughts in the last moments before bedtime When you help your mind settle down, you can ease into relaxation and give your body a better chance to rest — so a racing mind doesn’t prevent you from getting the sleep you need to be focused and efficient during the day.

It doesn’t take much to start feeling the benefits of meditation. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

Not sure how to start? We’ve curated a few guided exercises available on the Release the Pressure Website. They’ll take you through every step, so all you have to do is sit in a comfortable position while you listen to the audio. 

Get ready to sit back, relax, and start your mindfulness journey.