Read Dr. Rizzo's recommendation on meditation!
Tiny Little Action Steps: Meditation
Dr. Jennifer Rizzo
Our minds race all the time, thoughts dancing in our heads, limiting our ability to sleep and often times creating worry and anxiety. Turning off our brains can sometimes feel impossible. Mindful meditation can help, it is the act of focusing on your breathing to bring yourself into the present moment. How many breaths can you focus on before your mind starts to wander?
When we focus on breathing it brings us to the present moment. Being in the moment is often difficult, thinking about the next meal, the next day, even months from now. Taking time to do mindful meditation brings you into the present, decreases anxiety, lowers stress, creates a better connection to yourself and those around you and improves your focus. At first mindful meditation will seem daunting and like a workout. With practice you will be able to meditate at any time in any place by bringing your thoughts to the present moment. Remember the more you practice meditation the better you will get and the longer you will be able to meditate without the pesky mind racing.
There are many different types of medication, we are going to stick to a basic foundational mindful meditation to get started.
· Take a seat – sit however is comfortable for you. Sitting crisscross apple sauce is not mandatory to meditate. Sit on the couch if that is comfortable but turn off the TV, hide your phone and don’t fall asleep.
· Eyes open or closed – you pick what makes you most comfortable and allows you to focus on your breathing.
· Set a time limit – start with a minute if that’s all your brain will give you, but as you practice make sure to try and stretch beyond a minute.
· Notice your body – focus on your breathing. Are you breathing out of your nose or mouth? Does your chest or belly rise? According to research there is a best way to breath, but for starters let’s just breath!
· Notice when your mind has wandered and gently bring it back. Be nice to yourself, you may have never had to catch a racing brain before and remember your brain has more practice at racing than you do at catching it.
· End with saying something nice to yourself.
It is often easy to forget to meditate, so make it part of your daily routine. Set reminders in your calendar, meditate for a couple minutes before you get out of bed or right before you get into bed. Mindful meditation does not have to be done sitting down, you can bring your focus to the present moment at any time. For example, before you open the front door to leave the house take a couple seconds to find your breath, to get your thoughts in control and then walk out the door. Every time you have mindful meditation even for a couple seconds you get improve at this little tiny action step.