The health kick in America on the upswing in the few years and has largely been focused on diet and exercise. Recently however, a new trend is evolving: mindfulness. What’s the best tool to becoming more mindful? The secret ingredient lies in meditation.
Meditation has been proven to reap all sorts of benefits. It literally changes the wiring of your brain. Science has proven that those who meditate actually have more gray matter in their brain that helps you with decision making, thought processing and evaluating rewards and consequences. Having more gray matter, essentially means having more intelligence!
Those who meditate are not only more mindful, because they have created mental space for clearer thinking, they are healthier. Meditation has also been proven to reduce stress levels, provide better sleep, and improve focus. Not only that, but meditation can even ward off and prevent chronic disease such as heart disease and neurological illness and help you live longer. That's huge!
It seems so simple to sit still and do nothing, easy enough right? Not quite. We are so quick to excuse ourselves for how busy we can be on a daily basis. Then when we are busy how easy is it for us to actually find time to sit still and do nothing? Finding the time and effort to meditate always will fall to the bottom of the to-do list, especially when you've had a stressful day of work, maybe an exhausting workout, you're hungry and dinner still needs to be cooked, and all you want to do is crawl in bed.
My advice? Think about getting a meditation app on your phone. My personal favorite is the Calm Meditation app. And once you do, make a goal for no zero minute days. Even if you meditate for 2 minutes it totally counts! Not only does the Calm app track the time and days you’ve meditated, it is so practical without any of the typical “woo-woo” meditation has historically brought. The guided sessions are on relatable topics such as “gratitude”, "judgement", "focus" and "managing stress". Things we can all use a little bit more of right? The Calm app also sends you daily reminder notifications to keep you accountable for your meditation practice. If Calm isn't your thing, there are so many other fantastic meditation apps out there like Headspace, Buddhify, and my personal favorite - Russell Simmons' own app: Meditation Made Simple! Feel free to dabble around and try what works best for you.
Since I began meditating over the past few years, I’ve noticed I am way less anxious, happier, more compassionate and available to enjoy the present with my friends and family. Just in the last six months I have used the Calm meditation app alone to meditate over 100 times. This may be the best gift I’ve ever given myself!