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Meditation: Health Tip or Total Hype?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Meditation is a hot word in certain circles. There is definitely a strong group of supporters who swear by the health benefits and long-term effectiveness of the practice. But for the general population, it still seems to be something that floats in the realm of new age. Regular people don't meditate, right? Actually, the practice is probably more popular than you think. And the popularity is growing for good reason! If you've been thinking of giving meditation a try, take a look at this quick guide before you take the plunge.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice in mindful living. It requires you to sit (or lie down) for a certain amount of time. Though some people imagine that the intention is to stop your thoughts, the actual goal is to separate from your thoughts and observe them. The idea is to relax, clear the mind from worry, and sit in the present moment. 

Is It All New Age Hype?

It's all too easy to classify meditation as a new age, trendy, modern hippie practice. But the truth is that meditation is ancient. It's a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It's heavily practiced within certain religions and cultures, and the benefits have been documented for ages. Though it's certainly enjoying a modern day burst in popularity, it's an old reliable wellness practice that really works for the vast majority who give it an honest try. 

What are the Health Benefits?

So why should you try meditation anyway? Are the benefits really that powerful? Research and experience suggests the following benefits: lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, stronger immune system, less stress, lowered risk of heart disease, and improvements in overall wellness. Those who meditate regularly generally report better mental health and a better quality of life. In short, they just feel better. And feeling better is worth the trouble of learning to slow down and meditate.

How Do I Get Started?

The hardest part of meditation is the beginning. We might think that sitting still and ending obsessive thinking would be easy, but it's really tough! If you're interested in meditation, keep it simple. Meditate for no longer than five minutes, preferably only one or two minutes at a time. Use a guide or music, both of which are easily accessible on the internet. And most important of all: Relax! Meditation is supposed to help you relax and feel good. Stressing over the practice will bring more harm than good.

Meditation might sound like one of those things that other people do. Not you though, right? But practicing regular meditation can really bring some good into your life. Give it a try, reap the benefits, and improve your basic health and quality of life for years into the future. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Jordan, Utah.

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