Science has confirmed that meditation is a powerful tool to reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and even to help preserve the aging brain. If you are like most people your first thought about meditation might invoke images of monks or hippies, but a meditation or mindfulness practice is hitting the mainstream in a big way.
– Improved learning, memory, cognition, and emotional regulation
– Improvement in perceptive talking, empathy, and compassion
– Reduction in the amygdala, the fight or flight area of the brain, meaning a reduction in anxiety, fear, and stress
While COVID-19 has changed how the world operates, this may be an ideal time to focus on what we can control, mainly, our minds. If you are looking to give meditation a try but aren’t sure where to start, we love this easy guide from Gaiam.
HOW TO MEDITATE: SIMPLE MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS
This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation techniques.
1. Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
5. Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. Insight Timer has many free guided meditations, music, or binaural beats for you to try as well as your practice expands.
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