February is American Heart Health Month, the perfect time to focus on stress-reduction for positive effects on heart health.
According to Harvard Medical School various forms of stress, including workplace stress, can increase the risk of heart problems. In addition to creating a healthy work environment, giving your team the skills to deal with stress in healthy ways can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other illnesses.
One effective and simple stress reduction method is meditation. This calming technique can be done anywhere, for as little as 5 minutes, alone or with a group of people.
Try this Calm Heart Meditation:
To begin, find a comfortable posture (seated on a cushion or blanket, in a chair, or against a wall). It may be helpful to set a timer for 10, 20, or 30 minutes so you can deepen your meditation without being distracted by the time. You may also want to gently ring a bell at the beginning and end of your meditation.
Place your hands on your knees in Jnana mudra (index and thumb touching), with palms facing up to open your awareness or palms facing down to calm the mind. Scan your body and relax any tension you feel. Let your spine rise from the base of the pelvis. Draw your chin slightly down and let the back of your neck lengthen.
Bring your awareness to the center of your chest. To draw your mind into meditation, start to repeat the sound Om with each exhalation. You can chant Om silently at your heart region or out loud, letting the sound emanate from your chest, as though you have lips on your heart.
Let the sound vibrate like a gong, where the sound of Om ripples in all directions. As you work with the sound, feel that each Om widens your heart like a great lake. As you stay with the Om, feel that your heart is being washed of any unnecessary gripping, tension, or feeling.
If a particular emotion arises and starts to overpower the meditation, allow it to be buoyed by the sea of sound. Look underneath, around, and inside that emotion and discover an insight that may arise from the spaciousness of your inquiry. Gradually, the sound of Om will dissolve into the calm spaciousness of the heart-the great container.
When you are ready, bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra and complete your meditation with a moment of gratitude, reflection, or prayer to integrate the energy of your meditation into your life. You can bring your awareness to your heart anytime throughout the day to return to the seat of unconditional love.
We can’t always avoid stress, but we can make healthy choices to mitigate the effects of stress and support one another in those efforts. Inner Light Wellness works with companies and individuals in a customized a way, contact us today for more information on how we can support your wellness goals.