Great Smiles of New Jersey June 2019

AN ANCIENT SOLUTION TO MODERN PROBLEMS THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION

Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression. Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. HOW DO I MEDITATE?

This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems.

foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calm or Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well-being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness.

DOES MEDITATION WORK?

It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to

That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong

ZUCCHINI SALADWITH TOASTED HAZELNUTS

TAKE A BREAK!

Inspired by Food & Wine magazine

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

• 3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.) • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped • Mint leaves, for garnish • Parmesan cheese, preferably

1. Using a mandolin or very sharp

knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.

Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

• 3 908-561-0225

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