Meditation to Reduce Stress


An adopter shares her impressions
The Holiday season: it sure had its share of excitement and anxiety. Now that January is here, many feel the urgent need to put their mind at ease. It was the case for yoga enthusiast-turned-instructor Louise Marchildon, who found meditation to be an effective remedy against stress. In order to encourage others to adopt the practice, Marchildon agreed to share her experience with us.


A workout for the mind
Marchildon was introduced to meditation as part of her yoga training. She admits that she would not have seriously considered it herself: “I didn’t see the point of interrupting my day to meditate during a half-hour. It seemed to me like a practice reserved for Buddhist monks.” However, she assures us that her reservations quickly vanished.

The mother of three began meditating gently. Six minutes per day while seated in a stable position, Marchildon primarily focused on her breathing. “At the beginning, since it was difficult for me to remain focused, I practiced guided meditation,” recalls Marchildon. Hence, she recommends that novices obtain meditation programs on CD, which can be purchased at bookstores.

Other techniques are available to those wishing to engage in meditation. For example, one can concentrate on an object, a physical or mental image, or a sound that one can either repeat orally or mentally. Ultimately, the goal is to suppress our wandering mind and immobilize our thoughts.

According to Marchildon, “the important thing is to exercise some regularity, in order to improve our ability to let go.” Thus, from her initial six-minute routine, Marchildon went up to a daily half-hour well-being break. Meditation is like a muscle; it develops with time!


Known benefits
The goal of meditation isn’t performance, as there is no good or bad execution. Rather, it is taking some time out for oneself. The result should be a sense of calm and well-being.

The health benefits associated with meditation have been the subject of many scientific studies.

The latter have, among other things, proven that meditation can improve the quality of life of cancer patients and people suffering from chronic pain. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, meditation is also an effective strategy to help quit smoking.

Proponents of this practice increase their ability to temper the pain sometimes caused by harmful thoughts. “Like many mothers, I’m prone to imagining catastrophic scenarios and dwelling on dark thoughts,” admits Marchildon. She asserts that the meditative state allowed her to free herself of her fears and to finally live in the moment.

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