apps meditation stress Oct 29, 2020
Meditation, Apps, Resilience, Stress

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Meditation is a good place to start when you are overwhelmed, stressed, and grieving.

During periods of grief or stress, your sympathetic nervous system, or "fight, flight, or freeze" system overrides your parasympathetic nervous system known as the "rest and digest" system. 

Meditation is a way to offer yourself a “pause," reversing the stress response.  A few of the meditation benefits are as follows:

  • lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine
  • boost immunity
  • reduce inflammation
  • trigger the brain to release neurotransmitters key to wellbeing and focus (serotonin, dopamine, GABA, endorphins)
  • improve sleep

Some of you may say, “I can’t meditate“ because:

  • I do not have time.
  • My brain never turns off.
  • I can not sit still that long.

Here are my responses:

  • Put meditation on your calendar as a commitment.
  • You can meditate, bathroom, office, break room, etc.
  • There are benefits whether you take 3 breaths, sit for three minutes, or meditate for 30 minutes each day.  ("Weekend warriors" will probably not get the same benefits as daily meditators."
  • You are human.  It is impossible to turn stop thoughts.  But you can be aware of them.

Meditation can be thought of as weight lifting for your brain.  Simply sitting and being aware of your breathing helps build mental strength and resilience.

Think about starting a strength training program.  The first day you do some bicep curls or is rough!  As you repeat the sessions over the next couple of weeks, you notice it gets easier and you are able to lift heavier weight with more reps.

Building your mental muscle with meditation is no different.  At first 5 minutes may feel uncomfortable and hard.  Each day you practice, you get stronger.  Before long, you find you can comfortable sit for 10-20 minutes and be aware of the moment.  

As time passes, you may notice improved focus, shifts in perspectives, more peace, and more.

There are a lot of meditation apps available.  Here are some suggestions of apps I have used.

  • Headspace
    • I use this app most days.
      • sleep
      • personal growth
      • productivity
      • kids & parenting (I have used this with my son)
      • 3-minute reset when you are stressedA few options within the app for:
    • Here is the founder, Andy Puddicombe, offering a TED Talk about mindfulness.
  • 10% Happier
    • I love the beginner series in this app.
    • Dan Harris, founder and ABC-Good Morning America weekend co-anchor, has invited a lot of prominent teachers to share their meditation practice (i.e. Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, etc) with you.
    • Reading the book, 10% Happier, by Dan Harris, piqued my interest in meditation and was the reason I took the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course in 2015
  • Calm
    • The is the first meditation app I ever used.
    • There is a wide selection of meditations.
  • Insight Timer
    • This is a free app.
    • Meditation and yoga classes are offered.

You are always welcome to join me for Facebook Live, Monday Meditation at 8:15pm (ET) or head to IGTV on Instagram (@PausetoRemember) where I am saving the Monday Meditations.

Feeling lost, overwhelmed, or alone?

Talk to Amy for 20 minutes by scheduling a Zoom call with her.


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