The idea of meditation may seem a little “woo woo” to my Midwestern upbringing, but there is more and more evidence that it actually does lower blood pressure, improve attention span and help manage stress. There’s even new evidence that indicates that meditation actually changes physical aspects of the brain over time as well. But our lives are crazy busy, and sometimes it seems impossible to add even one more thing to it. So how do we add meditation to our lives without stressing out about adding meditation to our lives?
Many experts suggest that you begin by adding just ten minutes per day. Meditation is an incredibly rich practice which can be deepened and enriched over years of practice. But you can get your start by simply focusing on your breathing. I sometimes use a really terrific iPod app called “Breathe Together”. It’s a very simple app that simply provides a breathing noise. You just synchronize your breathing to the app with the added benefit of knowing that you are synchronizing your breathing with others who are meditating throughout the world. At certain hours of the day, a specific focus for your meditation like “peace” or “joy” are suggested. One word of caution, it can sound a little odd to innocent bystanders. The first time my husband came across me using the app, he was convinced that either A) I was dying or B) Darth Vader had taken over his wife’s body.
Meditation is simply a time of quiet directed focus and can encompass many things including introspective prayer, repetitive prayer (like saying a rosary) or even a guided relaxation. In fact, I’m currently creating a special body love-inspired guided relaxation track. It will be available free for members of The Fat Chick Clique, so if you’re looking to get your OM on, hop right over to my website and join already.
In any case, my little chicklettes, I want to invite you to find just a little time, maybe just a minutes per day to take a deep breaths and relax your mind. It’s a little bit like bicep curls for your brain. You’ll feel better and be better able to manage stress better. Both of which are powerful tools for better health.
The Fat Chick
Just downloaded it! Thanks!
NPR’s science Friday was about mindfulness and resilience today, today! Off I go to download your breathing app… do you know of any good guided meditation type apps for beginners? I keep poking around for them but haven’t found anything to stick yet.
I think there’s a number of good ones out there, but I really only have signficant experience with breathe together for the ipod. If you find any that you like, hop back on here and share! Good luck!