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How to achieve calm with meditation

Oct 19, 2011, 3:50 p.m.

For many of us, stress doesn’t end when the kids leave home. Daily pressures, such as work, finances and even family matters, can continue to create stress throughout our lives, and when they're allowed to go unaddressed, they can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even addictions to alcohol, nicotine and other substances. And though it’s almost impossible to eliminate stress from our lives, it is possible to change how we deal with it in order to minimize its life impact. One of the best ways to do this is through meditation.

Being Mindful with Meditation

Meditation is the practice of being in the moment and being mindful. It's paying attention to your physical and emotional sensations and simply acknowledging them. You don’t try to fix them, you don’t try to judge your reactions; you simply accept them. By not reacting in a stressful manner, you allow your mind and body to become accustomed to an alternative, healthier reaction to stressful feelings.

To practice a simple form of meditation, find a quiet spot in your home or somewhere else where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe in calmly calmly through your nose and into your belly. Fully exhale through your mouth. Let your mind focus on the different parts of your body and note the sensation you’re feeling there. Whatever it is, accept it and continue to breathe. You’ll find that as you accept the sensations and move on, you can also let them go. Start by spending five minutes a day doing this, and continue to move up until you're calm and relaxed meditating for 20 minutes or more at a time.

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