Meditation isn’t just for the mind — it also works wonders for the body and soul, so it can be especially helpful in maintaining your full-body health. While it might feel nice to just sit in a comfy place, close your eyes and do nothing for 10 minutes, that probably won’t do the trick. We’re talking about a specific kind of meditation—mindfulness meditation, to be exact.
If you’re scratching your head, here’s the lowdown: Mindfulness means you’re paying attention to each moment of your life without judging it. Mindfulness meditation aims to make you more aware of your feelings, thoughts, sensations and behaviors as they happen. This way, you have a calmer, clearer mind that’s better able to experience joy and accept and respond to stress. The practice combines attention-focusing exercises that are easy to learn, such as breath awareness and gentle yoga poses.
Sounds nice, right? It is! And even better – the practice is accessible. Classes on mindfulness meditation are offered in almost every state and nearly 30 countries.
Here’s how to get started:
- Have a quick chat with your doctor—he/she can help you decide if mindfulness meditation is right for you and may be able to steer you toward a nearby class.
- Check to see if your insurance company covers mindfulness meditation classes. You may be happily surprised! Ditto with your workplace—some offices offer the training at low or no cost.
- Once you start, practice regularly, whether alone or with others. It can be done almost anywhere, even while sitting in traffic or taking a walk.
- Try keeping a symptom log for several weeks—writing down each time you meditate and how you feel before, during and after—to see how your overall wellness improves.