The stress from our daily lives creeps up on us, sometimes without us even knowing it. Other times it’s like a sharp slap in the face, with no escaping the sting. Whether it’s the crazy amount of things we juggle or the demands on our time, high expectations, little time for self-care or larger obstacles life puts in our path, our lives don’t present much opportunity for reflection, quiet, or relaxation.
In comes mindfulness through meditation. Meditation is at the core of our ability to just be. Inviting us to focus on the present moment, become aware of our body and our breath, and (attempt to) clear our mind of distracting thoughts. We know the being dimension of wellness is so crucial to many other aspects of our health. But if you need a few more reasons to start meditating, how about these positive effects of a meditation practice:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Promoting relaxation and calm
- Improving blood pressure and heart rate
- Alleviating insomnia
- Neurological benefits like actually changing grey matter and improving connectivity between brain regions
If those aren’t enough, think about finding inner peace and harmony, learning to respond instead of react, exist with gratitude and appreciation for your life.
So, let’s start with a 1-minute meditation. Set a timer. Sit up with good posture and ground your feet firmly on the floor. Begin taking slow breaths, inhales and exhales. Focus your attention on your breath. Follow it moving into your body, then out again. Have some awareness of your body, your physical sensations. If you feel your mind wander, go back to your breath and put your attention on the air moving in and out of your lungs. Just be. For 60 seconds, you are invited to simply be present.
We love this short and simple opportunity to develop mindfulness. And we hope you’ll take this one and make it a habit; maybe even start adding some time to your practice.
Remember we are human beings, not human doings. So come with us on the journey to foster our sense of being.
- For a great app with a self-timer as well as guided meditations from leading experts check out: https://insighttimer.com
- Research study that concludes meditation reduces chronic stress and promotes relaxation: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0062817
- Study in Journal Of Clinical Psychology that found meditation reduces anxiety and increases hope: http://www.american.edu/cas/psychology/clinical-research/upload/article-Meditation-Tanner-Haaga-2.pdf
- Study published in the Journal Of American Medical Association found that a 16-week meditation practice improved blood pressure and heart rate: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=410453
- Study that shows a meditation practice was an effective way to treat insomnia: http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC3077056/reload=0;jsessionid=0J1jLCYWWyRhACKce5VS.16