Did you know high levels of stress and anxiety can have a negative impact
on your health? Find out how incorporating meditation into your routine
can improve your mental health.
What is meditation?
Meditation is the practice of quieting your mind. When successful, this
can trigger the body’s natural relaxation response. Meditation is
a skill, and just like any skill, it requires practice. But that practice
has the power to quiet the mind and help information process at a slower,
less frantic pace. This is why it can dramatically reduce stress and help
a person process their anxiety in healthier ways.
How do I meditate?
While there are lots of apps and YouTube videos available with guided meditations,
the basic concepts are the same and very easy. You will want to be sitting
comfortably in a quiet space where you are unlikely to be disturbed or
distracted. Follow these steps:
-Ensure you are comfortable sitting in the same position for two to five minutes.
-Close your eyes and begin to breathe in and out, deeply and slowly.
-Focus on your breathing as you continue to breathe in and out, deeply
-If you find your mind wandering, guide it back to focusing on the in
and out of your breath.
-Continue this for two to five minutes.
Did you find that it was difficult to focus on nothing but your breath?
For those new to meditation and even those who are well-practiced, this
is the challenge. But also, in allowing yourself the space to work toward
ending the narratives and thoughts swirling in your brain, you are allowing
your body to release tension and move into a more relaxed state.
Where should I meditate?
As mentioned earlier, find a comfortable, quiet space where you are unlikely
to be disturbed or distracted. Often, we envision serene spots in nature
or other elaborate locations. Instead of looking for the perfect spot,
focus on a location that is accessible in your daily routine. That way,
you will be more likely to continue building the skill through consistent practice.
How long should I meditate?
Mediation sessions can last anywhere from two to 20 minutes. If you are
new to it, starting with shorter sessions will help you practice the skill
without being overwhelmed or frustrated.
How often should I meditate?
Some people meditate daily, as part of a routine, while others rely on
meditation to help their mental and physical wellbeing during times of
stress. The best way to understand how meditation will help you is by
practicing as often as you would to build any other skill. Consistency
is important. And if you’re currently under stress, finding just
five minutes a day can make a difference in your mental health.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Stress and anxiety reduction are major benefits of meditation and the reason
people have practiced it for centuries. But also, the practice can improve
your attention span, enhance self-awareness and help with age-related
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