If you haven’t tried meditation, I encourage you to give it a try this holiday season. There are many valuable benefits of being at peace with your mind and thoughts, and feeling calm and centered. Don’t be intimidated by not being able to clear your mind. It is a misconception that meditation requires clearing of the mind. Meditation is much more than that. It’s something that requires an open mind, patience, dedication, and time. One is not simply “good” or “not good” at meditating. It is just simply an exercise, a practice. Another misconception is that meditation and mindfulness are associated with religion. Practicing meditation is not associated with any belief. It is simply a technique to learn mind control. There are many different types of meditation. The most common is meditating in a quiet space, however, a walk or jog can also be a form of meditation. Some people meditate with their eyes closed, some with their eyes open. There are also guided meditations you can find on phone apps, YouTube, and other internet sources and outlets.  

Mediation is not about stopping your thoughts or blocking them. You simply let them come and then let them go. Try to see your thoughts as clouds floating through the sky of your mind, and then watch them drift by as other clouds move in. This mindful practice helps you realize just how impermanent your thoughts really are, and takes away their power to rule over your life. It teaches you the important and valuable truth that you are not your thoughts. Regardless of where, how, or the duration, meditation can help you find stillness. It can help you become aware of your thoughts, and can help you take back control of your mind. Meditation helps you relax and connect with the present moment. Meditation offers you clarity and increases your ability to focus.

If you are new to meditation, I would encourage you to start with just five minutes a day, and then increasing to 10 minutes, and then eventually 15 minutes. Here are a few helpful mediation tools: a comfortable cushion, a mala, a daily meditation book, a timer or even better, the Insight Timer App. The Insight Timer Meditation App is free and available on App Store and Google Play!

If you are interested in learning more about meditation, there are a plethora of articles written on the benefits of meditation. Both yoga and meditation have been popular topics in magazines and on television. On a recent segment of the popular TV show, The Doctors, they were discussing the implementation and many benefits of yoga and meditation in schools and how effective it has been for the students, their families, and educators. They stated, “one in five kids have stress related symptoms, and through yoga and meditation, the students dealt with stress better, had improved behavior, improved focus, higher test scores, better attendance and slept better at night.” To watch this segment on The Doctors, visit the following link:

By taking time for meditation, prayer, solitude, and silence, you connect with what is in your heart. Meditation helps me set my mind, like a reset button. I encourage you to give it a try by setting a goal for daily meditation throughout the month of December. There is no better time than now, especially with the holiday season upon us! Meditation will make you feel more calm and relaxed, and it is when you don’t have time to relax that you need to relax the most!