Well, yes. That’s the short answer. Meditation has been shown to be effective in reducing emotional distress and increasing clarity. And it works with as little as 15, 20 or 30 minutes a day. But the key is consistency. A daily meditation practice, consistently applied has 76 benefits per this compilation of scientific studies by Giovanni at liveanddare.com, including:
Our Emotional Well-being:
improving mood and wellbeing (up 65%) by decreasing anxiety (down 30%) and depression (down 75%)
reducing stress and improving self-esteem
increasing optimism and relaxation
reducing fear and loneliness
Improving focus and memory
Improving thinking and creativity
Improving immune system and breathing
reducing blood pressure and heart problems
So with all of the benefits meditation has to offer, how can someone get started? Well, thanks to Leo Babauta at Zen Habits here are 20 practical tips to help you start meditating -> meditation for beginners.
Have you seen this spoof ad for Nature? It is a parody of drug commercials that promotes getting outside in nature. I know that I need time outside on a regular basis. I need to breathe fresh air. When I spend too many days inside, I get cranky, and one of the best ways to un-cranky myself is to take a walk in nature.
There are lots of benefits to getting outside, as it improves physical and mental health. This article from Care.com says that the health benefits of playing outside include:
Promoting social skills
Increasing attention spans
Enjoy the video and then get into nature. Better yet, skip the video and go outside.
Here’s a great article from Buzz Feed about 20 things you can do when Gender Dysphoria gets you down:
Gender Dysphoria getting you down?
Some recommendations are listening to music, spending time with pets, pampering yourself, exercise, journaling, spending time with good friends, or taking a hot shower or bath. Lots of these things are good to try when you are feeling down despite what the cause may be.
When I’m feeling down, I do something that is not mentioned on this list, and that is to listen to comedy. My favorite comedian is Eddie Izzard and he has some great routines on his youtube channel.
How about you? Do you have something you do when you are feeling down? Leave a comment. I’d like to hear.
According to this article on Expand Your Consciousness, psychologists say coloring is the best alternative to meditation.
Seriously? The best alternative? Now that’s something! I know that I enjoy coloring. It relaxes me and calms my mind. And you don’t have to spend lots of money on those fancy coloring books as there are plenty of free coloring pages out there, and some are specifically for adults.
Special thanks to Ashley Wilcox for this colored mandala which came from the book Mandala Meditation by Sterling Publishing Company.
Here’s a great article about childhood stress from Mind Body Green and what to do about it today. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, nutrition, journaling, and therapy top the list of ways to heal ourselves. I also find learning to have compassion for my childhood self helps me to have compassion for my adult self.
By the way, that photo is of me, about age 6 or 7.