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Let Meditation and Mindfulness Reduce Your Daily Stress

Published on Feb. 05, 2020

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it." — Jane Wagner, comedy writer, director, and producer

mindfulness and meditation cowell family cancer center

There’s no arguing with Jane. Modern life is outstanding in every way, especially as it relates to our daily stressors. The American Psychological Society’s Stress in America™ 2019 report shows that around six in 10 adults identify work (64%) and money (60%) as the most commonly-mentioned significant sources of stress. 

It never seems to end. But thankfully there are plenty of healthy ways to deal with our stress and anxiety. Everything from exercise to prayer to prescription medication can help ease stress and manage our relationship with reality. But perhaps the simplest and least expensive way to restore some inner peace is a few moments of meditation.

What is Meditation?

It’s difficult to define, but meditation is a mind-body discipline we humans have practiced for thousands of years. During meditation, a person relies on deliberate concentration and reflection to relax the physical body and calm the emotional mind. Many types of meditation exist, including:

  • Guided meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Movement mediation
  • Spiritual meditation

Some are more complex than others. But most, if not all meditation practices will employ specific breathing exercises to quiet your thoughts and focus your attention. The ultimate goal is a sense of profound peace that results from a silent, contented, yet deeply alert state of mind.

And Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a type of meditation, but it’s also a technique you can practice at any time by simply paying attention. Just take a few moments to pause and recognize what you feel and see around you. No matter what’s happening, your experience will deepen. You’ll be able to see reality more clearly and act with greater awareness.

Meditation Benefits

During a sustained meditation practice, you may find the challenges of daily life beginning to feel less overwhelming. According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits include: 

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Better focus on the present
  • Reduced negative emotions
  • Stronger imagination, creativity, patience, and tolerance 

Although the science isn’t conclusive, some research indicates meditation can help ease symptoms of asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, sleep problems, tension headaches, and more.

Anecdotal healing evidence exists right here at Munson Healthcare’s Cowell Family Cancer Center in Traverse City. “A patient once told me, ‘I used to worry so much about coming here. But now that I’ve learned to be mindful, that knothole I passed through in treatment has been replaced with my feeling of gratitude,’” said Kirt Baab, medical social worker and mindfulness class facilitator.

Your doctor may be able to advise which mental and physical health conditions may be lessened by a meditation practice. 

Free Meditation and Mindfulness Classes

The Health and Wellness Suite Meditation Room at the Cowell Family Cancer Center promotes emotional and spiritual health and provides space for quiet or active meditation. Free classes are available, including Meditation and Music, Art and Meditation, and Mindfulness Practice. No reservations are required.

Books and other media on meditation, mindfulness, and emotional and spiritual health are available at the Health and Wellness Suite resource center.

Free Meditation Classes >>