Healthy Habits: Meditation

Meditation is truly a life-changing practice and for various reasons has gained popularity in the wellness space. It has been shown to increase happiness, improve concentration, promote relaxation and create structural changes in the brain. Many people get stuck on the how when approaching meditation, but one of the reasons meditation is so great is that it’s all about what resonates with you.

There are many resources to help you start a meditation practice. Calm is a great place to begin your journey, it features a user-friendly website and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Calm provides users with mood music, various meditations and a deep breathing tool. Another great feature on Calm is the ability to meditate for as little as two minutes at a time. Headspace is another great resource for beginners, with guided meditations accompanied by interactive videos to help users better understand meditation and make it a regular part of their day. Headspace is awesome because it explains meditation, and why we should do it regularly in a way that everyone can understand. Both platforms offer notification reminders to assist with consistency. Last but certainly not least, good old YouTube has countless guided and unguided meditations. YouTube is my personal favorite because you can search for meditations based on what you need for the day.

Meditation is one of my favorite healthy habits, because it has made my days better and easier to navigate. The basic purpose of meditating is to just have a moment to yourself. When I first started my meditation practice, I didn’t understand how to do it or how to make my thoughts stop. It really is as simple as closing your eyes, taking some deep breaths and focusing on the inhales and exhales. Inevitably, when you begin meditating it will feel as if you’re doing it wrong because you can’t stop your mind from focusing on everything else. It is more important to let thoughts pass without judgement, than try to prevent them from coming. Meditation is a practice of being in the moment; so if you close your eyes and can’t stop thinking about a million things just allow the thoughts and feelings to continue to flow in and out without judging them. With consistency, meditation places you in an observant space of your thoughts, instead of being stuck in your head. It can help you develop a pause in your daily interactions and allow you to respond instead of react. Consistent meditation can provide you with a deeper level of understanding and control over your cognitive experience.

I have created a survey about meditation, in hopes of conducting my own research about its impact on people’s emotional and mental states. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, if interested follow the prompt below to participate.

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