by Cassie Steele
In a 2017 stress survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 75% of American adults reported feeling “at least one symptom of stress in the past month.” Additionally, it is estimated that “one in five American adults [have] experienced a mental health issue.” With so many people suffering from stress and mental health issues, self-care is a must for emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Almost every list of suggested ways to take care of yourself include yoga and meditation. While there are many other exceptional suggestions on these lists, yoga and meditation provide a unique, holistic self-care experience that cannot be found elsewhere. Whether practicing self-care at home or in the yoga studio, explore the ways that yoga and meditation are important forms of self-care.
Although there are many definitions of what “spiritual” can mean, one of the most
precise is the following: “of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.” Your self-care routine should include ways to connect to your spiritual side. Both meditation and yoga provide this opportunity, unlike many other self-care methods. Each of these activities give you an outlet to practice focused gratitude, and help you feel the presence of something more than yourself. Research has even confirmed that regular meditation (even for a few minutes each day) can help you feel happy and stress less.
Gives your body an opportunity to rest
When it comes to sleep, research reports that “men average 5 hours, 45 minutes [of sleep per night], while women average 6
hours, 9 minutes.” These figures fall far below the seven to nine hours of sleep recommended by most health professionals. Rest is essential for the mind and body. Getting adequate rest produces a positive mood, enhanced work performance, and healthy relationships. While you may not always be able to get the sleep you need, yoga and meditation provide a wonderful way to rest during the day. These self-care activities help you to turn off your racing, stressful thoughts and to restore your mind and body.
Science says yoga and meditation are good for you
Scientific research on yoga and meditation proves the strength of each activity as an effective self-care method. Yoga has been shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression, reducing chronic pain, and lowering blood pressure. Meditation offers similar benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, enhanced concentration, and slowing of the aging process.
When it comes to self-care, there are many activities that you can choose. Among the ways you take care of yourself, however, it is crucial to include yoga and meditation for the many benefits that can be yours each day.
About the Author: Cassie Steele is a freelance writer + editor. Inspired by her own journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening, she is motivated to share information that will hopefully help other people embark on a similar path. Several years ago, she reached a significant crossroads in her life when she became severely depressed and felt her life had no direction. She began to search desperately in outside sources for guidance, but soon realized that the answer was there within her all the time. So, she started a long journey which transformed the way she looked at herself and the world.