Life is stressful. We all know it, but still just rush through our days coping the best we can. It works for awhile, but the stress and anxiety of juggling job, family and activities--all day, every day--eventually has its effect on everyone.
In spite of all our time-saving appliances, studies show that today's population has much less time for leisure than previous generations. We all work long hours at a job--more women, especially, are working today than at any time in the past. After work? More work--driving car pools for our kids' activities, cooking, housework, and laundry. With the advancements in medicine, older generations are living longer. That's great news for all of us, but it also has created the 'sandwich generation'--working parents of school age children who also find themselves caring for older parents. It sometimes seems to be never-ending, and we flop into bed at night too tired to even spend a few minutes doing something for ourselves, enjoying a good book or a quiet time alone. No wonder we're stressed.
Added to that is our advanced technology. While we have come to depend on and appreciate what it can do for us, for most there is a steep (and stressful) learning curve to get the most from it. And we all know how we feel when it doesn't work as it should--that hair-tearing feeling of wanting to toss it out the window.
Stress and anxiety will eventually take its toll not only on our physical health, but also our enjoyment of life. Meditation and yoga have always been popular around the world, but as people discover the soothing, calming relaxation they can achieve in just a few minutes a day using these techniques, their popularity is increasing. And meditation beginners are enjoying the technique so much that they are soon committed to meditation for life.
It is widely accepted that meditation can result in reduced stress, greater health and a sense of calmness and balance. Studies show that in states of meditation we produce a greater quantity of slow frequency theta brainwaves. And now that technology we talked about earlier is helping out. More and more people are turning to programs using guided meditation on their own. These are available in several formats such as yoga meditations or new age music meditation that lead the beginning user into a calm, stress-free world, using peaceful music and serene voices. A few programs combine meditation with bio-feedback results on your computer. All the meditation and relaxation programs take only a few minutes out of your day, but what a difference in how you feel using them. They are so easy to use that most people develop the habit of setting aside just a few minutes in their day for themselves. That, of course, quickly becomes a habit, and is one of the reasons why most who start using them become life long practitioners of meditation. Things that used to cause minor trauma now seem tiny and easily dealt with. No wonder users swear by them-they make all the other parts of the day smoother and less stressful, and yes, enjoyable.
Commuters, too, are finding creative time for themselves while driving to work. They can now listen to a calming audio book about meditation, motivation, self-growth or new age meditative music. We're gradually learning that there is something we can do about the anxiety besides just cope with it, and it takes very few minutes to make a big difference in our lives.