In today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to forget to slow down and just breathe. With everything I have going on in my life, I often feel stressed out, and my mind starts to race. Meditation has helped me learn how to quiet my mind and relax. I try to set aside 10 to 15 minutes each day to devote to meditation. It’s a great way to take time out for yourself and de-stress.
There have been over 3,000 scientific studies on the many health benefits of meditation, from reducing anxiety and loneliness, to lowering blood pressure, boosting mobility, and keeping off belly fat. It can also help ward off depression, chronic pain, and insomnia. The list of proven benefits goes on, and there are no negative side effects. The article, Mindfulness: It’s as Powerful as Medicine, by Sarah Mahoney on the AARP blog, Life Reimagined, explains how meditating even a little can improve your health.
There is no wrong way to meditate. I try to do a simple breathing meditation every day. I like to sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion with my hands folded in my lap. You can also sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. With my eyes closed, I concentrate my attention on my breath. As I inhale and exhale naturally, I focus on the sensation of my breath as it goes in and out of my nostrils.
Thoughts will come and go. Observe the thought and let it float on by, then bring your attention back to your breath. When your mind drifts, try taking a deeper breath to refocus your attention back on your breathing. Like anything else, you improve with practice.
Mindfulness is one form of meditation that you can do anytime, anywhere. You can do it while washing the dishes or cleaning the house. Check out this article on Sixty & Me to learn more about mindfulness meditation. I also recommend the blog Pocket Mindfulness and the Mindfulness Meditation Institute website.
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