By Laura Jackson
We don’t have to look far in the news media to find reports recommending the countless benefits of meditation. There are several scientific studies demonstrating meditation’s capabilities to reduce stress, high blood pressure, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, chronic pain, and so much more. One study, published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, even showed how mindfulness meditation may alter regions of the brain associated with memory, and actually increase the brain’s gray matter.

But how does one begin to receive some of these benefits? One common misconception is that you have to follow strict rules concerning the way you sit, the amount of time you spend, or how you breathe and think. The good news is that there are a multitude of ways to meditate that are as unique as the individuals practicing them.

1.  Don’t worry about the time. Consistency has proven to be the more important factor. Studies have shown beginning with even five minutes has benefits.

2.  You don’t have to sit in a weird position. Sitting in a yoga pose is definitely not required.

You don’t actually have to sit at all. Some meditators prefer walking or even taking a nature hike.

3.  Just breathe. Distraction can be challenging, especially in the beginning. Continuing to refocus on your breathing can really make a difference.

4.  Be patient with yourself. Seasoned experts get distracted too. It’s called a “practice” of meditation for good reason.

5.  Remember, there’s no one right way to practice meditation. There are numerous methods and teachers in the Park City area and far beyond to help. Just some of today’s methods receiving attention include transcendental meditation (TM), mindfulness meditation, primordial sound meditation (PSM), Zen, Christian contemplative meditation, Metta
and countless more. Though some current methods are new, stressful lives are not; keep in mind that many meditation modes have successful histories dating thousands of years.

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