To Your Health: Meditation and Mindfulness
When I first heard about meditation, I think it was on some kind of early 80s sitcom, with people wearing unitards and scarves and chanting “ohm” as the laugh track blared. But, now meditation and mindfulness are getting serious attention. Data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey found that U.S. adults’ use of meditation tripled between 2012 and 2017.
The National Institute of Health defines meditation as a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Research has shown that engaging in meditation practice has positive health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.
If you are not sure where to start with meditation, the good news is, there’s an app for that. The New York Times reports that the apps Headspace and Calm are great choices for people interested in starting a mindful meditation practice. The University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness points out that meditation apps can be useful self-care tools, but you certainly shouldn’t rely on them in lieu of advice from a medical or mental health professional.
van der Riet, P., Levett-Jones, T., & Aquino-Russell, C. (2018). The effectiveness of mindfulness meditation for nurses and nursing students: An integrated literature review. Nurse Education Today, 65, 201–211.
Recorded at home with Eli Hildebrand Clubbs engineering; edited at KRCU Studios by Dan Woods