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The Mayo Clinic on Meditation

“If stress has you anxious, tense and worried, spending even a few minutes in meditation can restore your calm and inner peace.” This age-old practice, considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine, is simple, inexpensive, requires NO special equipment, and can be practiced anytime, anywhere.

There is no right or wrong

As a way to “clear the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress, meditation can be as formal or informal as you like, however it suits your lifestyle and situation.” What’s important is getting started, either by attending special meditation centers or group classes led by trained instructors, or by practicing some of the following ‘on-your-own’ meditation techniques.

  • Deep Breathing – “Focus all your attention on your breathing. Concentrate on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils. Breathe deeply and slowly. When your attention wanders, gently return your focus to your breathing. (This technique is good for beginners because breathing is a natural function.)
  • Scan your body - Focus attention on different parts of your body and become aware of your body sensations, whether pain, tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine body scanning with breathing exercises and imagine breathing heat or relaxation into and out of different parts of your body.
  • Walk & Meditate – This technique is an efficient and healthy way to relax anywhere you are walking. Whether in a tranquil forest, on a city sidewalk, at the mall, slow your walking pace so that you can focus on each movement of your legs or feet. Don't focus on a particular destination. Concentrate on your legs and feet, repeating action words in your mind such as "lifting," "moving" and "placing" as you lift each foot, move your leg forward and place your foot on the ground.
  • Repeat a mantra/Engage in prayer - Prayer is the best known and most widely practiced example of meditation. Pray using your own words or prayers written by others. Talk with your spiritual leader about possible resources. Or check the self-help section of your local bookstore for examples.
  • Read & Reflect - Many report that they benefit from reading poems or sacred texts, and taking a few moments to quietly reflect on their meaning. Consider listening to sacred music, spoken words, or any music you find relaxing or inspiring.

Bottom Line:  Meditation is good medicine! So, experiment and practice to find out what types of meditation work best for you. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps you reduce your stress and feel better overall.”

Learn more at www.MayoClinic.org.

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