A Beginner's Guide to Meditation

Recently, on one of the first class sessions of a new semester, my professor lamented on and on about placebo effects on people in society while I continued to think about what I wanted to eat for dinner when she said something that bothered me. "Meditation probably doesn't work, it's all in your head anyway?" I shot my hand up and replied, "That's not true," and a few students nodded in agreement, adding their thoughts. Meditation is most definitely not all in my head, and for me, it does work. Setting aside quiet time in your day isn't for everyone, but it definitely works for me, and science backs me up too!

Mentally, some of the benefits of meditation include decreased anxiety, gain of clarity and peace of mind, developed intuition and generally bringing your brainwave pattern into a state of healing. Not only that, but there are physical benefits as well, including improved immune system, decreased blood pressure and decreased tension-related pain. [Source]

Typically, I start my mornings with meditation because it's a great way to center myself before I begin what's bound to be a stressful day. If I'm feeling restless before bed after a long day, it's also a great way to help get your body ready to sleep. 

Getting started with meditation is super easy and anyone can do it, I'll even break it down into 3 easy steps for you.

  1. Pick a spot. Maybe it's just your floor, but make it yours. I set up my yoga mat to feel even more centered. 
  2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Clear your mind and try not to focus on any thoughts in your head.
  3. Turn your focus to your breathing with every inhale and exhale.

You'll get better and more focused with each practice, because while breathing is obviously natural, just focusing on that can be difficult to grasp.