You don’t have to climb to the peak of the Himalayan mountains or become a Buddhist monk to enjoy the inner peace that comes from meditation. You don’t even have to like yoga.
Here’s why you should try it, and why I’m going to teach you how to meditate. Meditation is one of the most powerful ways to elicit what is known as “the relaxation response.” The relaxation response is a physiological state of calmness, produced by the use of relaxation techniques. There have been many benefits associated with creating this state of calmness. Regular meditation has been connected to:
- improved sleep
- lower stress levels
- better coping skills during stressful situations
- a general feeling of well being
- improved brain function
- a stronger immune system
Additionally, it has been suggested to have a positive effect on many health conditions which are often adversely affected by stress, such as:
- anxiety disorders
- high blood pressure
- acid reflux disease
- heart disease
Keeping all of that in mind, here are seven easy steps to help you learn to meditate. Even if you don’t do it regularly, these steps will help you to relax if you have had a very stressful day.
- Set a low volume timer for 10 – 20 minutes.
- Pick a word or phrase to repeat. This will be your mantra. It can be anything that makes you feel good, like “ocean breeze,” “today is a good day,” “happy,” etc.
- Sit in a quiet spot, in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed.
- Relax all of your muscles.
- Breathe slowly and naturally. As you exhale, repeat your mantra silently to yourself.
- If other thoughts drift into your mind, it’s okay. Just gently return to your mantra.
- After the 10 – 20 minutes have passed, sit quietly for another minute or two and allow your thoughts to return. Open your eyes, and sit for another minute before rising, and resuming your regular activities.
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Until next time, be well, stay strong, and have a wonderful day!