The impact of meditation

By Abigail McShinksy

The impact of meditation

The impact of meditation

Meditation has many benefits. In fact, study after study continues to demonstrate its role in managing stress and anxiety, as well as increasing creativity and happiness. Just 10 minutes of meditation each morning can have a profound impact on how you manage stress throughout your day. Easier said than done, right?

In this hectic day and age, where we are planning our days to the minute to fit everything in, it seems like there is simply not enough time to add something new to the schedule.

But what if...

What if allotting 10 minutes to meditation could give you far more time back in concentration, creativity, and emotional health? What if you started with just two minutes a day? Could that really help?

Meditation is “the act or process of spending time in quiet thought.” Simple, right? How often do we do that in our modern culture, however? We are perpetually plugged-in and on-the-go. In-between all the busy, even brief moments of quiet can have a big impact.

While “meditation” has rooted itself in our culture’s consciousness over recent years, it has a long history - its roots can be traced back between 3,5,00 – 5,000 years ago.

“Meditation enhances self-awareness and can calm the mind naturally. It connects us with our breath and brings us back to the present moment. The beautiful thing about meditation is that you can practice it anytime, anywhere. For me, starting each day with 20 minutes of meditation has been a game changer.” says Erin Stokes, ND, Medical Director at MegaFood.

Trying something new can be intimidating. To get a better understanding of what starting a meditation practice might entail, we caught up with a few MegaFood employees after taking their first guided meditation course. Here’s what they had to say:

When I notice that my mind is making more drama of an event or a perceived problem than necessary, a few minutes of meditation helps it to settle, making it easier for me to view the situation through a calm lens and to more easily tap into the appropriate response or solution. It generally makes things feel more fun too. -Kripa

It made it less intimidating to know that when I do this at home I don't have to sit still for 30 minutes at a time! I can start with a small goal and increase the amount of time at my own pace. -Amy

It was amazing! The time we spent meditating flew by, and I felt calm, happy, and completely recharged - all after just 10 minutes! The cars weaving in and out of traffic on the busy, rush-hour drive home afterward didn’t ruffle my feathers in the least, and I felt patient and happy to have the added time to listen to music. I was in awe at the benefit it had on my mood and patience after a single session. I’ve since continued to spend 10 minutes at the end of each day sitting quietly and focusing on my breath. It’s been an easy and rewarding way to bring calm to the end of a busy day. - Abigail

So how can you get started?

Here are the basics.

  • Unplug. (Put that phone on silent!)
  • Gently close your eyes, or let the eyes have a soft focus.
  • BREATHE! Focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your nostrils.
  • When you are distracted, BREATHE!! Bring your focus back to the breath.

Experiment with all forms of meditation to find what works for you. One of the most basic breathing exercises is super simple to try:

  • Close your mouth and slowly inhale through your nose for a count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale deeply and completely for a count of eight, being sure to let out a big sigh or whooshing sound.
  • Repeat.

Do you already meditate? What has it brought to your life? Do you use an app?

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