WAY TO WELLNESS #57
WAY TO WELLNESS #57
The word “meditation” actually refers to a family of different activities that engage the mind and body. What these activities have in common is focused concentration. During any meditation practice, you try to reach a state of awareness of your own thoughts and feelings, and a connectedness with yourself and the environment. With time, a meditation practice can help you find peace and enhanced well-being.
People from all walks of life can participate in the practice of regularly meditating. In addition to the benefits of meditation listed below, it can also you help develop a more positive outlook on life. No matter what type of meditation you choose to explore, all forms encourage focused attention, relaxed breathing, and an open, welcoming attitude — all helpful practices that you can take back into “real life” when you’re finished.
To get started, all you need is a few minutes each day. Later you may want to work up to 10, 20 or 30 minutes. You can find many meditation options in books or CD, online or in a class. They even have apps for it now! You can also try some of the suggestions below. If one doesn’t work, stay calm and try another.
- Deep Breathing. Sit or lie down comfortably. Rest your hands on your stomach. Slowly count to four while inhaling through your nose. Feel your stomach rise. Hold your breath for a second. Slowly count to four while you exhale, preferably through pursed lips to control the breath. Your stomach will fall slowly. Repeat a few times.
- Mindfulness Meditation. Focus on your breath. Notice anything that passes through your awareness without judgment. If your mind starts to tackle your to-do list, just return to focusing on your breath.
- Visualization. Close your eyes, relax and imagine a peaceful place, like a forest. Engage all your senses: Hear the crunching leaves, smell the damp soil, feel the breeze.
Repeating a mantra. Sit quietly and pick any meaningful or soothing word, phrase or sound. You can repeat the mantra aloud or silently. Experts say the repetition creates a physical relaxation response.