Meditation is all the rage these days, huh? Seems like everywhere you look there’s a new meditation app hitting the market, a new meditation guru on the internet, even meditation tee shirts. Well, I’m no guru, but I will admit there’s a good reason for the buzz. MEDITATION WORKS!!
It physically changes the brain. It helps us to focus better and manage our emotions more effectively. Oh, and it’s been shown to be as effective in treating depression as medication.
Whether you think it’s all quackery or not worth your time, I’m here to tell you: TRY IT. It was the single most important thing I did that helped me reduce my stress. Meditation only takes a few minutes each day. Here’s how easy it is:
An Easy Meditation Practice
Sit quietly in a comfortable position, back straight, eyes closed, and just focus on your breathing.
Concentrate on breathing in and out through your nose; listen to your breathing sounds; feel your belly moving in and out as you inhale and exhale.
If you hear something that generates a thought or a thought pops into your head, let it occur and then let it go.
Acknowledge your thoughts without judgment. Notice them coming and going, and bring your conscious awareness back to your breathing.
If your mind starts paying attention to something else in your environment, that’s fine. Recognize it, feel it, and then bring your focus back to your breathing.
After a few minutes, you should start to lose sensation in your arms and legs. Depending on how long your session lasts, the rest of your body will essentially go numb. This is perfectly normal and good! This is part of the out of body, transcendent state you may have heard about.
During this state, your mind will be fully alert and yet your body will be completely relaxed—just the opposite of a stress response. You can expect to feel at peace, calm and euphoric. It’s that simple and that beautiful.
Meditation is so important to stress management because it gives us greater control over our thoughts and emotions. It quiets our brains so we can put our minds to work. If we are scatterbrained or can’t think straight to begin with, meditation is essential to calm the storm first.
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