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Why Meditation is Important for Travel Nurses

July 28, 2015

Although it is undoubtedly rewarding, working as a travel nurse can also be stressful. As a travel nurse, you may travel to faraway locations, take on challenging assignments, meet new people and juggle a different schedule all while trying to keep in contact with your loved ones at home. Fortunately, you can reduce some of the stress and anxiety you experience with various at-home measures, such as meditation.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a useful stress-reduction technique that is designed to bring about serenity and clarity. It involves moving from our normal state of mind, which receives countless sensory stimuli and bounces quickly from one thought to another, to a more focused, contemplative state of mind.

During meditation, you must focus all of your mental energy on a single thought, such as love or relaxation. You may need to fight off multiple distractions as you attempt to focus, but you will eventually find a meditative state in which the mind is clear and calm.

Benefits of Meditation for Travel Nurses

When performed on a regular basis, meditation offers a number of benefits for travel nurses, some of which include:

Improved Memory and Cognitive Function

As a travel nurse, you will constantly be learning new things and relying on your memory to carry you through. According to the National Institutes of Health, meditation can increase the cortical thickness of the hippocampus, which may improve your memory and ability to learn.

Decreased Anxiety

Beginning a new assignment as a travel nurse often leads to anxiety and stress. Fortunately, the same study published by the NIH showed that meditation can reduce the size of the amygdala, which is the center of the brain responsible for stress, anxiety and fear.

Better Concentration

Travel nurses need to be able to concentrate on a variety of tasks throughout the day. According to Forbes, studies have shown that just a few weeks of regular meditation can improve an individual's ability to concentrate.

Improved Well-Being and Quality of Life

All individuals, including travel nurses, can benefit from a better quality of life and well-being. Luckily, a study performed by Massachusetts General Hospital found that participating in regular meditation sessions for eight weeks can alter the structure of the brain, leading to a healthier well-being, stronger sense of self, more empathy and a better overall quality of life. These changes have been shown to persist even after meditation sessions are discontinued.

Beginning a Meditation Program

It's no secret that travel nurses are busy, but that doesn't mean that you can't make the time to meditate. Meditation sessions can vary in length, and they don't need to be performed on a set schedule. Thus, you can meditate in your spare time and in session lengths that make sense for you. For example, you may meditate in the shower, while having your morning coffee, or before going to bed at night. Regardless of when you choose to meditate, make sure you find a quiet environment free from distractions so that you can clear your mind completely during each session.

Travel nursing can be stressful, but regular meditation can help. Consider adding meditation to your schedule so that you can enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer.

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