For those who are unfamiliar with meditation and its numerous health benefits, it may just seem like sitting around doing nothing. In our culture of constant movement and change, meditation may sound like a waste of time, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may seem like meditation wouldn’t have a profound effect on your mental health, meditation has been known to make a positive impact on those dealing with a mental illness.


The goal of meditation is rooted in this idea of finding peace and a space where the person can be in the present. On a day to day basis, many of us are unable to focus on right now and instead let our minds think of past mistakes or future endeavors. Meditation trains your mind to make the switch to focus on your breathing, relaxing your body and allowing you to detach and find inner peace.


Stress is inevitable in all of our lives, but those struggling with anxiety allow it to consume their thoughts and interfere with their daily life. Our reaction to stress could be empowering, forcing us to buckle down and get things done, it could be debilitating, overwhelming us to the point of panic, or our reaction could fall somewhere in between. On a whole, a healthy amount of stress should serve as a catalyst for us to get things done. When stress begins to take over your thoughts and consume your life and it’s difficult to figure out the source of your stress, you need to take positive steps to gain control of your situation, and one of your tactics could be meditation.


For 6.8 million Americans who deal with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), applying the principles of meditation to daily life struggles can help compartmentalize fears and help their minds respond to stresses more productively.


When getting started with meditation, it doesn’t have to be a huge life change. Meditating doesn’t need to be time-consuming, it can be as simple as setting aside the first 5 or 10 minutes at the start of the day. For those of us who don’t feel like they have enough time in the day to get everything done, spending these first few moments on ourselves can be relaxing and a great way to start the day off on the right foot.


If you’re interested in making meditation a healthy habit, read over these tips on Zen Habit that will help you guide your mind and have a productive session.