Meditation: Helping You Live Your Best Life
By Lyndy Guevara, September 8, 2022
Isch Wellness Future Meditation Space
An Overview of Meditation
Meditation is a mental exercise that, when practiced regularly, serves to help you attain
a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. To the casual observer it may
seem like the person meditating is doing, well, nothing. And, they’re kind of right since
meditation is normally practiced with your eyes closed or staring at an object! Practicing
“Concentrative Meditation” involves focusing all of your attention on a specific thing
while tuning out everything else around you. (1) There are many different ways to meditate and the practice spans centuries and a multitude of cultures and religions. In fact, the oldest documented images of meditation are from India and date back to 5000 to 3500 BCE. (2) Although it began as a practice for self-fulfillment or enlightenment, each time meditation was introduced in a new part of the world, it transformed and was shaped by the individual culture it found itself in. It wasn’t until the 20th century that meditation became prominent in the United States. In the 1960’s-1970’s, much of the religious connections and roots were removed and it began to be studied in a scientific way, which encouraged the practice to be used by anyone, not just those seeking spiritual fulfillment (although it’s excellent for that, too!).
Benefits of Meditation
There are many physical and emotional benefits to starting – and maintaining – a
meditation practice. Here are just a few evidence-based reasons why meditation can
help you live your best life (3)(4) :
1. Reduces stress
2. Controls anxiety
3. Reduces symptoms of depression
4. Promotes emotional health and wellbeing
5. Improves sleep
6. Can decrease blood pressure
7. Helps with pain management
8. Has been shown to help with certain illnesses like fibromyalgia pain, migraines,
headaches, and IBS
Tips for Beginning a Meditation Practice
So, I’ve convinced you and you want to start meditating right away? Awesome! As you
begin your meditation practice, remember: You don’t have to be perfect, you just have
to be consistent. Meditation is best when it is a daily practice. To begin, set a timer on
your phone for 5 minutes. When you’re able to reach that comfortably, increase your
timer to 10 minutes. Continue to increase the time until you reach one that feels good
for you and that you can work into your daily routine with ease. When you’re meditating,
you can try playing soft music or white noise in the background, whichever you prefer.
You can close your eyes or keep them open and simply focus on an object. Here are
more tips to help get you started:
1. Find a quiet place and settle on a comfortable chair.Try to keep your back
2. Breathe in and out through your nose. Tune in to the feeling of being present.
3. Make a note of any physical tensions and any thoughts that pop up in your mind.
Simply acknowledge them with kindness and invite them to relax and release.
4. With each breath you take, feel it in your belly. No need to control or change your
breathing. Just allow your lungs to inhale and exhale naturally. Focus on the ebb
and flow, like the waves of the ocean.
5. When you notice that your mind has wandered, gently but firmly bring it back to
6. This is mindfulness: training in awareness, acknowledging, letting go and coming
home to the breath and to the present moment. (5)
Give this a try and let me know how it goes for you! I feel so strongly about the benefits of
meditation, that I incorporate guided meditations into my Reiki sessions.
If you’d like to practice in a group setting, please come to Wellness Wednesdays at Isch Wellness Center! Every Wednesday is dedicated to some type of wellness activity. The activities are donation-based, meaning payment to participate is not expected. I’ll be leading some of the meditation practices, so consider this your invitation! You can even bring a friend :)
***Our first Wellness Wednesday is Sep. 21 at 6pm. I’ll be leading a meditation to help you feel centered, grounded, and aligned. Hope to see you there!