Meditation, what's all the fuss about?
According to figures from the mental health charity, Mind, approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. With the Department of Health estimating that mental ill health costs the NHS and society around £105 billion last year, it’s a subject that needs a lot more research, care and attention to enable effective, long-term treatment.
Although not a proven cure, you may have noticed a sharp rise in the popularity and interest of meditation. Following on from the success of yoga in all of its forms, meditation is the latest answer to maintain a stable and healthy mental wellbeing. Anyone can try meditation, and with the pressures of day to day life, it’s something that everyone should give a go, after all there’s nothing to lose.
Meditation is the practice of calming the mind and finding an inner state of peace and balance. With constant mobile phone use, social media addiction and the need to communicate at such a broad spectrum these days, it’s extremely difficult to train your mind to become unattached to your thoughts. But, just like practicing all activities, you will become stronger and more disciplined each time you attempt meditation, eventually leaving your body more relaxed and your mind at ease.
A simple way to start meditation is to take 15 minutes of your day to sit in a comfortable position and practice focusing your mind on just one thought. If you find you are one of those people who manages to make lots of associations to words or objects, focus on the traditional ‘third eye’ instead and see if you can block out everything else, and find that inner sense of calm.
If you’re uncertain of your journey into mindfulness, why not download an app to reassure yourself that you’re on the right tracks? The Mindfulness App is free on iPhone and Android and comes with a five-day guided meditation package including timers and personalised offers. If you’re looking for a quick fix to a sudden onset of stress you might want to try the Headspace App instead, also free on iPhone and Android, this app is all about getting straight into it with daily 10-minute meditation exercises. Finally, to get the whole family involved you might want to download Smiling Mind, also free across all devices, this meditation app is designed to suit children as young as 7 up to adults of any age. Children face a lot more pressure at school these days, so it’s important they become aware of their mental health from the beginning. Smiling Mind also offers classes for wider education which means it can be used in offices and across sports teams too.
Meditation can deliver excellent results, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’d like to discuss your personal mental health and wellbeing, get in touch with General & Medical today on 0800 970 9442 today to see how we can help.
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