Stress is a normal part of everyday life. From deadlines to relationship problems, there always seems to be something to worry about. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people worldwide have had to face a unique new source of stress on top of it all.
The great news is that vaccine rollouts have already commenced in many countries and there is hope on the horizon. If you're a globetrotter, you're probably especially eager to see borders open up again and countries restart their tourism. The Wise Traveller is ready to help people rediscover the world with helpful resources about travelling in the "new normal."
Exciting as it is, travelling can bring its own stressors, from flight delays to lost luggage. Meditation is the answer. This soothing practise can be done anytime, anywhere, with little to no equipment. Find out how to use meditation to beat stress below.
The health benefits of meditation
Before you commit to a meditation routine, it helps to understand the benefits of this practise. Many people find meditation challenging when they first start. Recognizing the mental and physical health benefits can help you get past the initial hurdles until you reach the point where you are enjoying meditating. Research published in the JAMA Journal of Internal Medicine reveals that meditation is effective at combating psychological stress and may contribute to overall improved mental health.
These effects aren't just evident in a person's mental state. According to Harvard University, meditation is also shown to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a common physiological effect of stress. If a person is stressed for prolonged periods of time, this can result in lasting hypertension, which increases the risk of adverse health events like heart attack and stroke. Meditation, thus, also protects your physical wellbeing.
How to create a meditation-friendly space wherever you are
Meditation is all about drawing your focus inwards and letting the external stressors of the world fall away. To make the most out of the practise, you want to create a distraction-free zone. Whether you're in a hotel room, a vacation rental, or at home, take the time to clear away clutter and clean up. Mess can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. By cleansing your surroundings, you are creating positive energy and clearing out negative vibes.
When you travel, there are a few small things you can pack to further create a meditation-friendly zone. A yoga mat allows you to transform any surface into the perfect spot for meditation. Business Insider offers a roundup of travel yoga mats that are easy to transport. You might also consider packing some candles or essential oils for aromatherapy, which can enhance meditation. Opt for calming scents like lavender, sage, or peppermint. A white noise machine can also help block out distractions and make it easier to meditate.
Tools to help you start your meditation practise
Once your meditation zone is set up, you can finally start. Just what are you supposed to do, though? Don't stress: As with most things in life, there's an app for that. Oprah Magazine offers a roundup of meditation apps designed to help ease anxiety. After a day of rigorous travel or a sleepless, jet-lagged night, these are perfect. You can also find free guided meditations on YouTube. Redefined Narrative has a list, including links. The programs address different purposes, from clearing out bad energy to letting go of fear and anxiety.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you're preparing for a trip. Globetrotting has gotten more complicated in the wake of COVID-19, and there are new stressors to take into account, like the need for frequent coronavirus testing. Rely on meditation to help you keep your cool, ensuring you can enjoy the adventure sans the stress.