We are all so busy with work and family obligations and when we get home and put our feet up we turn on the television or computer and our brains never have a chance to rest. We live in a constant state of information overload! Meditation isn’t just for hippies anymore and the medical community is taking notice of the benefits it provides for a long list of ailments. The Journal for the American Medical Association calls meditation “inner technology” that supports “optimal health”. JAMA reviewed 52 studies and reported “cultivating a more mindful way of being is associated with less emotional distress, more positive states of mind, and better quality of life.”
Think you are too macho for meditation? Think again! Even the US department of defense is funding research on the benefits of daily meditation. A study performed on the U.S. Marines providing mindfulness meditation training prior to deployment proved Marines had lower levels of stress. The study also suggests that meditation might improve soldier readiness and serve as early prevention against PTSD. If meditation can improve stress levels for Marines, maybe it can help professional drivers too?!
Meditation expert, Elizabeth Harper suggests meditation can benefit truck drivers by reducing stress and increasing a sense of well-being. In an interview for Overdrive, Harper explains that meditation can help with the emotional health of truck drivers, offering 3 simple steps:
“Step One: Meditate in the morning, sitting upright in a comfortable position.
Step Two: Close your eyes. This will help you journey inward.
Step Three: Breathe deeply. Deep breathing can help you relax and go deeper into meditation.
Step Four: Focus on a sound or on your breath or on nothing at all.”
Simple right? Still not convinced this is for you? Why not just give it a try. There are so many benefits and it costs nothing! Here are the top reasons you should give meditation a try:
- Your overall health will improve
- Improved quality of sleep
- Stress reduction
- Improved mental clarity
- Lower blood pressure
- Alleviates anxiety
To get started there are quite a few websites that offer free guided meditations you can download. Start with sitting quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes and work up to 5-15 minutes as you get more comfortable. The best time of the day is first thing in the morning or as you are getting ready to sleep at night. Start and end your day off right with some serious stress relief!