Meditate with Dr. G
By Robert Hopwood
If you want to clear your mind, get rid of stress and find a little inner peace, consider meditation.
It can be done anytime and is a great way to start the day or finish it. That’s because mindfulness helps bring balance to our hectic lives.
A healthy life includes meditation time, says Dr. Jill Gover “Dr. G,” a licensed clinical psychologist who leads DAP Health’s Behavioral Health department. Downtime and rest are as important as physical activity. They keep our lives in balance.
“Meditation is a way of calming the mind, and in our very fast paced, stressful world, it's important for us to have moments where we calmly settle down and ground ourselves and meditation is a marvelous way to do that,” she says.
Mindfulness also is good for our physical health.
Research suggests meditation can help reduce blood pressure, improve irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and insomnia, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Here are five meditation tips from Dr. G:
- Start by meditating for short periods of time. Long meditations, like an hours-long meditation, would be way too difficult for a beginner.
- Be compassionate and non-judgmental with yourself. Don’t worry about the self-talk in your head. It’s noise. Empty your mind. Imagine your thoughts are like clouds and watch them drift away. Then return your mind to what you were focused on, like your breath.
- Find a comfortable place to sit when you meditate. It should be quiet and free of distractions.
- Don’t worry about sitting still. If you sit in one position for too long, it’ll make you uncomfortable and start to hurt. It’s OK to move around.
- Start with something simple, like your breath or a simple mantra. Sometimes it’s helpful to play tranquil music or use a taped guided meditation.