As a society, it’s apparent that we are experiencing the physical, emotional and mental repercussions of sustained stress. Multitasking has become the pace, yet the impact of stress and elevated cortisol on one’s health are undeniable, leading to anxiety, depression, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, anger and decreased work productivity.
Incorporating breaks into the day is scientifically proven to create a more focused and creative mind and improve mood. It used to be that meditation was some esoteric practice involving a monk sitting atop a hill. Now, large corporations such as Google and Aetna are implementing meditation practice and individuals are downloading meditation apps on their phone. People are craving time to reset, become more focused and deepen their connections.
These stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth! The beauty of meditation lies in its simplicity…the breath. Our breath is an incredibly powerful tool that resides within us. Without it, we cease to be living. By learning how to focus on your breath, you have the ability to simply observe passing thoughts and the range of emotions that surface - to observe without judgment and to practice self-compassion. The result is you gain some healthy clarity before you choose an action.
The benefits of meditation haven’t gone unnoticed in the medical community. Neuroscientists and researchers have been extolling the benefits of meditation and its impact on the physiology of the brain. Here is just some of what we know:
Like any exercise routine or sport, meditation takes practice! None of us have idle time but if you make the commitment, you can find 10 minutes in your day. You don’t need the perfect moment or the perfect location. Create the space and show up like you would for any other appointment.
To begin your own meditation practice, try one of these 3-5 minute Guided Meditations or follow these easy steps:
Katie Zupan-Lehman received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Case Western Reserve University and she is a Certified Mindfulness Practitioner. In her career, she has worked with some of the top genetic companies and mental health professionals in the field, including Sequenom, Genomind, Merck, Scripps, Sharp, Amen Clinic, and PsyCare. Through these experiences, Katie became fascinated with the impact of lifestyle on the growing epidemic of insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Paired with her passion for the mind-body connection, the arts, and self-care, she joined with her business partner to create Thyme & Presence and DAILY PRESENTS.