In addition to calming and focusing the mind, meditating for only ten minutes a day also benefits the body. A recent article in Esquire magazine entitled “A Useful Guide to Chilling the F**k Out” (September 2013), summarized several studies by the Western medical community. According to these studies, regular meditation can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce doctor fees by 28%
- Improve sleep to a comparable degree as the sleep drug Lunesta
- Strengthen the immune system
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Improve heart health
How to Meditate
Sit somewhere quiet for ten minutes. Close your eyes. Focus on the physical sensation of your breathing. When your thoughts wander to something else, simply notice the distraction and gently return your focus to the physical sensation of your breathing. (You will have to do this over and over again.) That’s it.
At first, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, as our minds tend to dart from one thing to another. I need to pick up milk at the store . . . Car alarm outside . . . My neck hurts . . . Meditation is stupid . . . My boss is really annoying . . . Barking dog, barking dog . . . So on and so forth. The mind can be utterly exhausting. But with daily practice of the above method, you will discover your mind—and with it your body—learning to slow down and simply rest in the moment
I strongly recommend Headspace On the Go, a great free app to help you learn meditation.