How Meditation Can Help Conquer Stress and Extra Pounds

ommommyToday’s guest blogger is Tracy Connery from MommyOm, a wife, mother, writer and photographer.  Her days are taken in any number of directions, but a long-term relationship with her yoga mat has kept complete craziness at bay.  MommyOm is the best in all things yoga and meditation for parents from one mom’s expanding perspective.

The next time your day has spiraled out of control… demands of screaming children, looming deadlines, stacks of unpaid bills… rather than looking to the self-help section of the bookstore, or heading to the doctor for some kind of medicinal intervention, or worse, to the fridge for yet another peppermint patty… sweet, tingly, chocolate-y goodness … ahem… OK, perhaps that’s just me….

I’m relatively new to meditation, but the research I’ve found is compelling, and so far only confirmed by my own experience.  The consensus is, from study to study, article to article, that when you’re left reeling with the pressures of life, particularly in the wake of today’s economic concerns, what is often lacking is a firm sense of living and being in the present.  It is here, disconnected from the power of the present moment, that we are most likely to allow the demands of work to overwhelm us, fly off the handle with our loved ones, or retreat to the fridge in search of comfort, if not all of the above.

This is where the beauty and power of mediation lies.  With a little practice, one can enjoy the benefits of a greater awareness, so that regardless the situation, we have a better ability to engage, rooted in presence and mindfulness, more fully and effectively able to draw upon the perspective and power that brings.  As we learn to sit in mindfulness, where the past and future dissolve away, we gain a better handle on those thoughts contaminated by what we feel should be, or more likely, what isn’t, and instead redirect them to feelings of the abundance that is.  This state of practiced mindfulness inevitably transcends the concentrated moments of silence into the rest of our day and the other areas of our lives.

In addition to its effectiveness in managing stress, meditation has proven to offer any number of health benefits, from decreased blood pressure and managing chronic pain and depression to elevated mood and increased tranquility.  Additionally, you may also enjoy better sex (yes, husband, that’s what I said!) and it’s highly likely, for those of you looking to get a handle on over-eating, an increased feeling of mindfulness and gratitude, not to mention an enhanced body image, leaves less room for indulging in thoughtless binging , wandering aimlessly to the refrigerator in search of comfort, something to quell your boredom, or that pesky, albeit wonderful, mid-afternoon fix of chocolate and mint!

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