Meditation is an activity that can calm and focus the mind, bring the awareness into the present moment, and generate an experience of deep relaxation. There is lots of information about how mindfulness techniques, relaxation, guided visualizations, and other meditation techniques can affect the body in positive ways. For instance, a regular meditation practice is associated with lower blood pressure, less physical pain, and feelings of calm and serenity.
The great thing about meditation is that no special tools are required to get started; you do not have to take a class or invest in any special training. There are many meditation techniques that anyone can try for themselves. Consider giving any of these five strategies a try for yourself before beginning each day. You will soon find that the benefits of meditation are more accessible than you ever imagined.
1. Do a quick mindfulness check-in
Meditation can help you become more aware of your body’s changing conditions throughout the day. Noticing how you react to various situations lets you take a mental step back and adjust your responses. This has the power to give you more control over stressful, anxious, or angering situations. Practice this short mindfulness exercise first thing in the morning and then repeat it throughout the day anytime you wish to. It uses the acronym STOP:
S – Stop. Pause what you are doing, take a little step back from the situation you are experiencing.
T – Take a breath. Allow a calm, cleansing breath to enter your body. Let it gently leave.
O – Observe. Bring your attention to your body’s activity. How are you physically reacting to the situation that is currently surrounding you? What is your emotional state?
P – Proceed. Continue about your day after checking your reactions and making any helpful adjustments to your attitude or mindset.