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Self Care Series Part 2: Meditation

By Rachel Parodneck LMSW

When you think of meditation, you may conjure up images of monks chanting in the Himalayas. Your next thought might be: “that’s not for me! I don’t have time!” We’re New Yorkers, and as such, we’re usually in a hurry. But maybe it’s time for you to slow down.

Meditation can be a great way to decompress and relieve stress. In these trying times, the importance of meditation cannot be underestimated. What are the perks of meditating?

The Mayo Clinic lists many emotional benefits of meditation:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Increasing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Meditation has been shown to help those suffering both emotional and physical illnesses. The National Institutes of Health reported that some research suggests meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors. From mental health issues like anxiety to physical ailments such as cancer, meditation has been shown time and time again to have huge health benefits and is often recommended in conjunction with western medicine.

There are all types of meditation: mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation and yoga are all wonderful ways to meditate. For beginners, guided meditation can be a good place to start. Our therapists recommend the app Headspace, which consists of short, guided meditations.

Perhaps most importantly, don’t judge your meditation! Building a regular meditation practice requires time, patience, and being open-minded. So instead of scrolling on your Instagram feed or swiping on dating apps, take 5 minutes to try out meditation. Who knows? You might even like it.

References:


Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Clinic. Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Relieve Stress. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/testsprocedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health. Meditation: In Depth. Retrieved from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth