Meditation is an ancient tradition still practiced today. Cultures around the world meditate to bring a sense of calm, harmony and an inner peace. Depending on your lifestyle, it can be as formal and informal as you like. Although there are several types of meditation, we will focus on ways you can meditate during your everyday routine that help reduce stress and bring you a sense of calm.

Meditation has numerous benefits including but not limited to:

  • Stress reduction
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Improved self-image and positive outlook towards yourself and others
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Improved attention span
  • Decrease in age-related memory loss
  • Improved self-discipline
  • Improved sleep
  • Decrease blood pressure

Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. You can do it anywhere, anytime and without any special equipment. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Here are some ways you can incorporate meditation into your everyday life, whenever you choose:

  • Breath deep: Breathing is a natural function and is an easy meditation technique. Focus your attention on your breathing, concentrating on feeling and listening as you inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Take deep, slow breaths with all your attention focused on your breathing.
  • Be aware of your body: Focus your attention on different parts of your body. Scan your body and pay attention to its various sensations. Notice any tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine this body awareness with your breathing and imagine breathing relaxation in and out of different parts of your body.
  • Repeat your mantra: Your mantra can be anything meaningful to you. It can be a religious or any non-religious saying. When you notice heightened stress or anxiety, say your mantra as you take your deep breaths.
  • Walking and meditation: A healthy way to relax is combining your meditation with a walk. Go for a slow walk focusing your thoughts on your steps. You can do short walks in a circle or a back and forth pace or go for a longer walk. Clear your mind of any particular destination or distractions. Incorporate your breathing and focus on your steps.
  • Pray: Prayer is found in most faiths and is a foundation of meditation. Prayer can be spoken or read. You can use your own words or use prayers written by someone else.
  • Reflect: Take a few moments to reflect on your day. Write down (journal) or speak to a friend about meaningful events. If you are reading something or listening to something powerful, take a few minutes to take it in and reflect on what they mean to you.
  • Focus on gratitude: During meditation, focus your attention on something sacred to you. This can be an image of a special place, an object, a feeling or experience or a special person. Take in these feelings of love, compassion and gratitude and make them the center of your thoughts.

Meditation isn’t meant to free your mind of all thoughts. Instead, mediation lets you take control over your thoughts by realizing that you can choose to empower specific thoughts while ignoring others. If you become distracted, bring your focus to your breathing. Learn to meditate during your everyday routine for relaxation and stress relief.

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