How often do you take time in your day to just sit and be present? Even setting aside just five minutes to meditate can offer many benefits for one’s wellbeing.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
Katie Westberg, National Director of Life Enrichment for The Goodman Group, says that the benefits of meditation are very similar to those experienced when practicing yoga.
“Improved concentration, reduced stress, happiness, self awareness, and cardiovascular health to name a few, but beyond these benefits, the opportunity to experience something new can also be really exciting,” Katie says.
“Meditation is a great way to connect with yourself on a much deeper level,” Katie adds. “At our locations, we have designated rooms with wellscapes. A beach with crashing waves is a popular example. It helps our residents get into the state of mind to practice meditation.”
Simple Steps to Start Meditating Today
One of the great things about meditation is that anyone can do it anywhere. Here are some steps that will help you get started meditating today:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted for 5 to 10 minutes. While this could be indoors or out, you may want to start indoors until you feel comfortable with the practice. It’s a good idea to let your family members know you need some private time — behind closed doors if need be.
- Sit comfortably on a firm chair — such as a dining room chair — with your feet resting flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart. It’s helpful to keep your spine as straight as possible, but it’s also important to be comfortable. Avoid any posture that feels forced. It can help to sit closer to the edge of the chair than all the way back. You can place a pillow at the base of your spine for more support.
- Rest your hands on the tops of your thighs. It doesn’t matter whether they’re palm up or palm down, just so your arms are relaxed and comfortable.
- Close your eyes. If you don’t feel comfortable closing your eyes, just let your eyelids relax and gaze gently downward, about three or four feet in front of you.
- Be aware of your breath. You don’t need to try to control it or change it in any way. Just be aware of inhaling and exhaling. Notice the gentle rise and fall of your abdomen with each breath. Some people find it helpful to count their breaths: 1 as you inhale, 2 as you exhale, 3 as you inhale, 4 as you exhale, until you reach 10 (five full breaths), then start over at 1. This focuses your attention so that your mind is less likely to “wander.” If you lose count, just start over.
- The idea is simply to experience a state of peaceful quiet in the present moment. Start with five minutes and increase your meditation time at your own pace. 20 minutes is a good goal. Remember, as little as five minutes a day can produce amazing results!
The information presented in this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition. You are responsible for understanding how to practice meditation safely. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician.