Too frequently, we get so wrapped up in our views of the physical world, whether it’s with our possessions, our surroundings, or our bodies. Sometimes we need to take a break from all of that and just relax, something that far too many people don’t truly know how to do. You don’t have to be a yogi or a Buddhist to learn how to meditate, and the benefits this simple but effective act have on our wellbeing are unparalleled.
In fact, our physical health is directly impacted by our mental health. We’ve all seen this after a horrible night’s sleep impairs our energy levels the next day, and how a great night’s sleep has us running circles around our less well-rested selves. The same is true when we relax our minds while not sleeping, and this is where learning how to meditate and practicing it regularly can help you. Among many other benefits, medical research has shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, improve focus, and help with anxiety. Feel like giving it a shot?
Here’s how, in a general overview:
- Find a quiet, if not silent place.
- Find a comfortable position, keeping your spine straight— many prefer to sit cross-legged, but lying down is also an option.
- Begin focusing on your breathing the effects it has throughout your body.
- Return focus to your breathing if your mind starts wandering.
- Start off with a short amount of time (5-10 minutes) and work your way up— 30-minute meditation sessions are helpful on a daily basis, but not everyone has time for that, so do what you can!
The best overall health is a combination of both mental and physical well being. While working up a sweat with one of our fitness coaches may be your immediate “go-to” thought when you think “fit”, remember that your mind needs to exercise as well!