Meditation 101: The Why and How of this Important Practice

November 1st, 2016

With the upcoming presidential election added to the general stress from daily life, we need an outlet to release any worry, fear, and irritability. Incorporating a daily meditation practice will help you release your physical body from storing any additional anxiety you may have accumulated and improve your mental health and wellbeing.

“Anxiety is often rooted in the idea that everything is changing and we have no control over it,” says Dennis Teston, yoga and meditation teacher at New York Health & Racquet Club. “Part of [meditation] is the idea of acceptance. It is crucial to understand and accept that all things are changing, evolving, and growing.”

In addition to reducing anxiety and stress, consistent meditation has also been known to lower blood pressure, better sleep, expedite healing, and strengthen the immune system.

Below are a few tips from Dennis, on how to incorporate meditation into your daily routine:

·       Step away from the phone: As a culture, we are being bombarded with information all day long. We’re so over-stimulated that when we need to rest, we’re still stimulated! In order to recharge, it’s important to create small moments in the day with no phone, no social media, no streaming NETFLIX.

·       Find a quiet and comfortable place: It could be a chair or couch, on the floor with pillows, or even outside, in nature for fifteen minutes (but no selfies)!

·       Start small: A consistent 2 to 5 minutes each day to begin is better than 60 minutes once a week. There are plenty of timer apps out there to download. Set a goal to increase by small amounts of time each week.

·       Make it a habit: Do it at the same time every day, when it makes most sense for you, and make it a priority, like brushing your teeth or making your bed. You can’t start or end your day without your practice.

·       Get a guide: Whether in a group setting or a downloadable app, a guided meditation practice helps give you tools to practice more effectively on your own.