Every year there are reports linking a healthy diet and exercise to overall wellness and health. If you’re living with a chronic condition like diabetes, heart disease, or even Alzheimer’s, doctors often recommend doses of plain exercise mixed in with medication. More often than not, you might also hear adding meditation to your routine.
Meditation is the thousands’ of years old practice of focusing your mental energy on the wellness of your mind and body. Several religions advocate the practice as a way to get closer to spiritual beings. Doctors believe it can be a healthy practice even if you’re not religious.
A major outcome of meditation is a reduction in stress, which can help relieve anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia. According to the Mayo Clinic, “When combined with conventional medicine, meditation may improve physical health, such as heart health, rheumatologic conditions and digestive problems.”
So how do you go about adding meditation to your daily routine? It’s pretty simple. Meditation does not require any tools or equipment, it can be done anywhere, and it’s free. Here are some of our favorite tips from the Mayo Clinic on how to incorporate meditation into your life. The most important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just make it make sense for you and your needs, and it will be effective.
Deep breathing is one of the simplest ways to try meditating. You already breathe all the time, so just focus on your breaths for a few moments. That’s it!
If you have issues with pain, you might try scanning your body to focus your senses on different areas. Pair this with a breathing technique for even more relaxation.
Taking things one step further is pairing breathing with a walk. When you walk to meditate, make the purpose about the actions of walking rather than the destination. Focus your energy on the movement of your body and your breathing.
You don’t have to be religious to try repeating a mantra that means something to you. Maybe you have a favorite #MotivationMonday quote you like that you can say over and over to really internalize the words.
Prayer is probably the most widely known and practiced form of mediation. Talk with your spiritual or religious leader about selecting a prayer that can help you focus your intentions.
Reading sacred texts or poems, or listening to calming music is a great way to bring external sensory experiences into a meditative practice. Think about how you feel when you listen to or read and write down or share your reflections.
Focus on the positive in your life. This can be challenging if you’re already stressed or feeling down, but it can also put things into perspective. Focus your attention on an object or item while incorporating feelings of love and gratitude.
Whatever your flavor of meditation, try to incorporate it with an open mind and heart. If you think one practice is cheesy, don’t do it. Find something that honestly calms you down and gets you to feel a little more deeply.