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Stress Management: Doing Meditation


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   Stress Management: Doing Meditation

Meditation means different things to different people, and there are many ways to do it. This topic focuses on a kind of meditation called mindful meditation. This practice may help you relax and relieve stress.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What is mindful meditation?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why meditate?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How do you practice meditation?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What is mindful meditation?

Mindful meditation is when you sit without "doing" anything and you focus on the present moment. As you do this, you let go of thoughts about the past and the future.

After you practice this meditation, you may find it easier to be mindful even when you are not meditating. Being mindful means to focus your attention on things that are happening right now in the present moment.

People's lives are busy. A person often does many things at one time. For example, you may be walking to the grocery store, making a shopping list, and talking on the phone all at the same time. But when you are mindful, you do just one of those things, such as walking, and you pay close attention to that one thing.

For example, as you are walking, how does the air feel against your skin? Is it warm, cool, dry, or moist? How do your feet feel as they hit the sidewalk? Do your shoes create pressure on your feet, or do your feet feel comfortable and supported? This is what it means to walk mindfully.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Being mindful means to be aware of only one thing at a time.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      When you are mindful, you are aware of all the things that are happening around you right now. There may be many things happening at this moment. For example, when you take a shower, you may be aware of the temperature of the water, how your body feels as the water washes over you, and the dampness of the air in the shower.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      When you are mindful, you are aware of all the things that are happening around you right now. There may be many things happening at this moment. For example, when you take a shower, you may be aware of the temperature of the water, how your body feels as the water washes over you, and the dampness of the air in the shower.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why meditate?

People have used meditation to help treat a number of problems, including:

Meditation may help with these problems, but it doesn't take the place of treatment you receive from a doctor or other medical professionals.

One of the great things about meditation is that you can do it on your own whenever you want, and it may help you relax and feel better. Also, you don't need any special tools or equipment to practice meditation.

Learning how to be aware of the present moment in meditation may keep your mind sharp and help you focus better in other areas of life as well. For example, you may be able to react faster to road conditions when you drive if you focus solely on driving, rather than being distracted by talking, thinking about other things, or listening to the radio.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. I can use meditation to help treat some health problems.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Meditation does not take the place of treatment from a doctor, but it may help with anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and addiction.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Meditation does not take the place of treatment from a doctor, but it may help with anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and addiction.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How do you practice meditation?

Getting ready

The practice

Test Your Knowledge

  1. If my mind wanders during my meditation, I must be doing something wrong.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      Meditation is a practice. And part of that practice means being kind and patient with yourself and returning your focus to the present moment. This process of returning your attention to the present moment can happen over and over again during a meditation session.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      Meditation is a practice. And part of that practice means being kind and patient with yourself and returning your focus to the present moment. This process of returning your attention to the present moment can happen over and over again during a meditation session.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

Ready to give it a try? Remember that it takes time to train your brain to focus on the present, so be patient and gentle with yourself.

If you want to try another relaxation technique, see:

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Stress Management: Breathing Exercises for Relaxation.
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Stress Management: Doing Guided Imagery to Relax.
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Stress Management: Doing Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Stress Management: Practicing Yoga to Relax.
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body.

References

Other Works Consulted

Credits for Stress Management: Doing Meditation

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven Locke, MD - Psychiatry
Last Revised May 15, 2012

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