Research has shown it to help with everything from anxiety and depression to better sleep, lower stress levels and chronic pain relief. In a recent New York Times article, health and wellness writer Holly Burns reviewed why incorporating a mindfulness practice into your daily life can be beneficial, and how to get started.
She suggests starting small, with five minutes of breathing exercises to calm and focus the mind every morning. Not only will it “set the tone for the day,” said Dr. Eva Tsuda, a meditation instructor at the UMass Memorial Health Center for Mindfulness, but meditating earlier may make the practice easier to stick to.
Burns offers a few additional suggestions and things to consider as you get started. These include deciding on a specific, quiet place where you are unlikely to be interrupted. Once you do so, set a timer, again, for as little as 5 minutes and go in without expectations of “success.” Just noticing what that 5 minutes is like is a good start. If you need some place to rest your focus during these 5 minutes, see if you can simply describe your breath or what you are noticing via your 5 senses. A grounding exercise is a good place to start. You can read her full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/21/well/mind/meditation-morning-practice.html. Or, if you are looking for some help getting started, try a different, brief exercise via any one of many playlists available on YouTube.