Life can get quite hectic at times and it can cause you to have feelings of stress and frustration. That stress can ultimately harm your health in many different ways if no handled effectively – including mentally, spiritually and physically. One great tool is meditation. Meditation is a practice that everyone can do, practically anywhere. It enables your mind to relax and become more focused, which can actually be beneficial to your work. Meditation is about focusing on your inner self, primarily your mind, and being present and content in your current state.

Considering the detrimental effects of stress, it should come as no surprise that stress-relieving strategies like meditation can have direct, beneficial health effects. One recent study found meditation helps ease pain and anxiety during breast biopsies. A total of 121 women undergoing breast cancer diagnosis were randomly assigned to participate in one of three approaches as they went through their biopsies:
• A recorded loving-kindness meditation
• Music (their choice of instrumental jazz, classical piano, harp and flute, nature sounds or world music)
• Standard care, which includes casual conversation and emotional support
As reported by Duke Cancer Institute:
“Patients in the meditation and music groups reported significantly greater reductions in anxiety and fatigue after biopsy than those receiving standard care. The standard-care patients reported increased fatigue after biopsy. The meditation group also showed significantly lower pain during biopsy when compared to the music group.”
Meditation has also been shown to have a distinct impact on gene expression, reduces inflammation, and can help relieve stress-related diseases.

Here are some helpful tips on how to get started with incorporating meditation into your daily life:

Set Reminders – Getting into a routine of meditating is essential for its effectiveness. Commit to yourself. Set a reminder in your calendar notifying you to meditate at least once a day, whether it is in the morning, afternoon, evening or any time you feel that you need it. Listen to your body, and take time out for yourself.

Get Comfortable – Finding a comfortable, quiet space is also essential for meditations effectiveness. You can either sit upright in a chair, or comfortably on a pillow or on a couch, and ideally somewhere in nature. Wherever you find the most comfort will be the most ideal spot to meditate.

Become Aware of Yourself – Meditation is about being mindful. Once you are comfortable, take a minute to observe yourself. Start with one part of your body, and work your way up and down. Become aware of how you are sitting, how you feel, and how you are breathing. This will help you truly enter the present moment to begin focusing on your practice.

Just Breathe – Focusing on your breath is key when practicing meditation. Notice how the air flows into your lungs, and your belly filling up with air. Then, as you release, notice how the air flows out of your body. Create a slow, relaxed rhythm with your breathing. This will lower your heart rate and blood pressure, and ease your mind.

Take your Time – Meditation can take as long as you’d like, or can be as short as you’d like. To increase effectiveness, meditating for about 2-4 minutes is average for beginners. As you continue with your practice as time goes on, you may increase your time depending on how much time you actually have.

Smile ☺- At the end of each of your practices, smile big and wide. Be grateful that you took this time to appreciate and better yourself.

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” –Hermann Hesse

– Marty and Claudia, Life Circles