Meditation Made Easy

A daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

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Behold the Lowly Dandelion

Spring has finally sprung, and brings with it the stirring of growing things all around us.  One of my favorite memories from childhood was seeing the big field across the street from our house transform from muddy, snow blotched thatch to lush green grass, suitable for barefoot games of tag and running bases with my friends.

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Tai Chi for Fitness and Mental Clarity

Right now is a good time to focus on ongoing fitness practices that can help to keep us healthy all year long.  One daily practice you may want to consider is Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a series of physical postures, or "forms", which are linked slowly and precisely by meditative movement.  It originated in China more than 1,000 years ago and is considered a martial art that is practiced primarily for its health benefits, including reduction of tension and stress.

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Meditation Made Easy

meditation techniquesA daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it is either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

  1. Dress comfortably and find a quiet location where you will not be interrupted. (This is sometimes the most difficult part!)
  2. Sit or lie down (some people say that meditation should never be practiced lying down, but it can as long as you are not prone to falling asleep... sleep and meditation are two very different things and do not have the same effects.)
  3. Relax your body by taking a few slow, deep breaths. (Make sure that your belly rises before your chest as you breathe in. This is known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing or "belly" breathing and helps the body to relax. Deep breathing is a great relaxation technique on its own.)
  4. Now, simply close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts while focusing on your breathing... as thoughts do come into your mind (and they will), gently acknowledge them and then let them go, refocusing each time on your breathing. Your goal is to stop thought as much as possible and you will find that as you practice meditation daily, it will become much easier and more beneficial. Some people find that listening to a constant sound such as the air conditioning or a hum will help them focus. In this type of basic meditation, there is no need to use a mantra (a word or phrase used to focus the mind in some types of meditation).

Be sure to keep your practice simple and it will be much easier to maintain. It's as easy as that!

Terri R. Marshall is the owner of Tranquility Bay Relaxation Therapy & Wellness Coaching in Annapolis, Maryland. She is a Relaxation Therapist, Certified Stress Management Specialist, Certified Wellness Coach, Therapeutic Guided Imagery Practitioner and Green Living Consultant. Terri specializes in local individual Relaxation Therapy sessions which relax the body, calm the mind and soothe the spirit as well as Wellness Coaching sessions which promote a health and happiness. In addition, she is available for out-of-area telephone consultations and gift certificates are now available for all Tranquility Bay services. Visit Terri's website for more information or a copy of any of her great self-help publications: http://www.tranquilitybaywellness.com.

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