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Take a Deep Breath
t i o n THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
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. HOW DO I MEDITATE? 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. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong 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.
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.
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 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
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