Election got you down? Feeling anxious, depressed, and worried? This is the best time to decompress and focus on self-care. So turn off the TV, shut down the social media (after reading this blog!), and find your center. As anyone who knows me will attest, I am an ardent proponent and advocate of meditation and mindfulness. And I cannot recommend it highly enough. I began my practice over four years ago and know it has profoundly changed my life.
Mindfulness can be defined as an essential quality of consciousness characterized by an attunement to the present in a non-judgmental manner, with an emphasis on having an open mind and heart. With the nasty vitriolic bile spewed forth during this election season, this negativity is taking its toll on our health. I recommend even a small amount of mindfulness meditation a day to reconnect to your center, find your empathy and compassion, and recharge with loving kindness.
The health benefits of meditation are amazing. Research has shown that mindfulness affects certain areas of the brain involved in these particular areas:(a) attuned attention regulation, (b) the cultivation of pro-social behaviors, (c) enhanced emotion regulation (d) the application of extinction and reconsolidation of maladaptive thoughts (e) enhanced meta-awareness via a change in perspective of the self via non-attachment and de-centering and (f) increased intention and motivation to achieve mindfulness.
Take ten minutes out from your day. That is all it takes to start reaping the benefits of a daily meditation practice. I will guarantee your body and mind will thank you for it. There are plenty of great, free programs out there. Check out these great programs: