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Blog: Meditation: Getting Started

Simple straightforward tips on how to get started with a meditation practice in order to improve your well-being and overall health.

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom. —Buddha

We all have stressful busy days. For some it’s every day, for others, it's from time to time. Either way it takes a toll on our bodies, minds, and spirit. There are a number of exercises and activities people do after a rough day to reset and wake up refreshed the next morning. Some go to the gym, go for a run, practice yoga or pilates, and others rely on meditation.

According to the Mayo Clinic,

Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process results in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and can even improve certain medical conditions (Source). 

If you want to incorporate meditation into your life, take a moment and read this article from Oprah.com. The author offers a few simple suggestions for beginners on how to get started. Below are a few summarized tips:

  • Paying attention to your breathing is an important part of meditation. Allow your mind to focus on each deep breath you take.
  • Don't try to push out nagging thoughts or worries. Let them enter your mind, then refocus your attention on your breathing.
  • The best way to get the most out of meditation is to develop a schedule so you can create a habit. You will still benefit from meditation regardless of when you do it, but you will be more successful at keeping a daily practice when you develop a habit and most habits are easier to establish with a consistent time each day. It takes about 21 days to establish a new habit so set a goal for a month and see what differences you notice.
  • There are many different forms of meditation. Experiment with the various types until you find one that works for you. Consider buying a how-to book to follow, or find a teacher or friend to guide or mentor you.

If you already practice meditation regularly, I would love to hear about your experience! Please take some time to share your thoughts, feelings, and successes in the comments section below. If you plan to start, come back when you've had some time to experiment, and share what you've learned or felt! I look forward to hearing from you.

in health,
~Tamara Archer

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Sotelo March 29, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Meditation classes and sessions in Campbell: http://gyalwagyatso.org/how-to-meditate-apr-may-2012/
Nescett Wright April 03, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I've been thinking about trying meditation. I struggle with even the three minutes of it at the end of yoga! :)
Tamara Archer April 04, 2012 at 04:50 PM
As with anything new, I like the saying, "practice makes permanent" over "practice makes perfect". It's definitely a one step, or shall we say, 'one minute at a time' practice. Our culture is so head focused; meditation is a great way to help soften the brain's grip on us and move into a different modality. Keep at it. :)
Dyan Chan April 06, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Thanks for the tips on meditation ... definitely useful information on something I'd like to do more of!

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