By: Diana Hoffman
Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious? You aren’t alone. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million US adults every year, according to a recent study from ADAA. That’s 18% of the US population who suffer. For this reason, meditation techniques are becoming more prominent as a way to develop mindfulness, promote calmness and overall wellbeing to the mind, body, and spirit.
Meditation originated in Eastern wellness traditions and is now practiced around the world. For example, in the US, meditation increased by more than three times from 2012 to 2017.
This simple slowing down to pay attention to breath reaps substantial health benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. Studies have shown that it increases the efficiency of the body’s way to deal with stress, develops grey matter in the brain, and builds greater resilience, to name a few.
“Meditation is a way of paying attention with connection and awareness. It teaches us to savor the moment, so we don’t miss the ride.” Says Troy Bronsink, Founder/ Director of The Hive: A Center for Contemplation, Art, and Action in Northside
So, how do you to start?
Sitting in a quiet space offers a rewarding starting point. Take a twenty-minute break in a quiet room to turn off everything allowing the mind to digest. Become aware of the thoughts and distractions, letting them go.
Meditation Apps: Apps such as Headspace offer mentorship and guidance anytime and anywhere. For a small fee, you can follow guided meditations, watch videos, and read articles.
Meditation Class: Community Centers such as The Hive in Northside and various yoga studios offer classes to participate in a guided class.
Walking: Get on your walking shoes and take in some fresh air to clear your mind. Walking meditation offers a wealth of benefits for the mind, body, and spirit.
Creative Work: Don’t worry about being artistic or your level of talent. Creative meditation increases playfulness and many other benefits. So paint, write, dance, and let yourself be free.
Singing or chanting: Are you a shower or car singer? You are in luck. The act of chanting and singing focuses and calms the mind. Studies have shown that it increases breathwork improving lung function, and stimulating the immune system. Don’t worry if you are off-key.
Journaling: Mindful writing offers a way to destress while increasing breathwork, creativity, and more. Taking time daily to write can also lead to a healthy habit of including imagination in our lives.
The time to start is now. Take some time for yourself to be mindful. You will reap the rewards for your needs.