Stress is a physical and emotional reaction that people experience as they encounter changes in life. Stress is a normal feeling. However, long-term stress may contribute to, or worsen, a range of health problems including digestive disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, and other symptoms. Stress may worsen asthma and has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.
Meditation offers a wide variety of benefits, whether you use an app, watch recorded videos, live streams, or practice alone. Meditation with a group can provide a useful support to your practice and amplify the benefits of meditating alone. When you practice in a group, you might feel accountable to other members of the group or less likely to drop your meditation practice when life starts to get chaotic.
Most people who try meditation probably think of it as an activity done in silence. They might learn the common meditation technique where they observe sounds that happen to arise and notice the temporary nature of those sounds, but they probably would not expect those sounds to continue throughout their meditation. In other words, sound is understood to be a departure from the "real work" of sitting — or struggling to sit — peacefully in silence. Fortunately, there is more than one way to meditate and there isn't some rule that the only allowable "meditation music" is repetitions of John Cage's 4' 33".
Curious about mindfulness meditation? Perhaps you have heard the hype or seen the long lists of benefits. Maybe you are wondering how mindfulness meditation can be such a powerful tool for becoming more present in daily life or how "just sitting" causes people to develop more compassion for both themselves and others. Or perhaps you would like to develop deeper insight into the nature of your mind and the world around you.