Meditation is like mindfulness on steroids. We’re taking our brains out of drive and putting them into neutral. The benefits of meditation include oxygenating our bodies (which has an antibacterial effect on tissues), and creating new, beneficial neural pathways in our brains that alleviate stress. Here is a simple, step-by-step procedure to get you started:
*Find a place where you can sit comfortably and not be disturbed.
*Take 2 or 3 deep breaths, and close your eyes.
*Starting at the top of your head, slowly scan down through your body, releasing any tension you find.
*Observe without judgement the sounds, smells, and physical feeling of your environment for a few moments.
*Turn your attention to your breathing. If helpful, count the breaths or place your hand on your abdomen to notice the rise and fall. If thoughts pop up in your mind, don’t fight them, but let them pass by, like clouds. Do this as long as is comfortable.
*Slowly return your attention to your environment for a few moments.
*Open your eyes, but don’t jump up right away - take a few moments to enjoy the calm and peace you feel.
There are as many ways to meditate as there are people. Sitting in nature and simply observing what’s around you without judgement is all that’s needed - the point is to take your mind away from the race of thoughts, breathe, and think about...nothing.