A person can experience two different types of stress. The physical kind which occurs when the body is exhausted, and the mental kind which happens when the mind is overworked. The latter, the result of over-stimulation by a combination of negative and positive emotions, can happen when the mind is not given a proper opportunity to rest and relax.
This latest NBC Washington post from Lisa Cleary takes a look at meditation as a way to help individuals to learn to focus not on their future worries or past failures, but rather, to use the practice to be in the present as a way to break negative patterns. The article is geared toward beginning meditators.
“We get angry about the past and anxious about the future,” she said. “Meditation gives you a tool to bring your mind to the present moment and break the cycle of negative emotions.”
Further, she details, meditation is stress-reducing because it focuses on the concept of “living in the moment.”
“Many times, we come across a problematic situation, and we easily get caught up in anger, regret or blame. These are negative emotions linked with the past. Or we get caught up in fear, anxiety and worry. These are emotions linked with the future,” said Stevenson. “And when the mind is caught up in the future or past, it doesn’t help us handle the challenges of the present.”
Read more on how to use meditation to stay in the present here.