Meditation: The way to happy, healthier days

How meditation can help manage stress

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Louise Stanger is a speaker, educator, licensed clinician, social worker, certified daring way facilitator and interventionist who uses an invitational intervention approach to work with complicated mental health, substance abuse, chronic pain and process addiction clients.

Thanks to our friends at Hay House, here’s a few tips for happy, healthier days.

At this point we can all agree that meditation is a good thing. Countless studies from renowned institutions including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and UCLA have proved that meditation has positive effects on health, reduces stress, increases cognitive development in students, decreases hyperactivity, reduces heart disease, improves brain function, expands self-awareness—and the list goes on.

But meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting alone and silent for hours. The truth is, you can actually implement this mindfulness practice at any time—no matter how busy the day, how stressed you feel, or how impossible it seems.

Of course, this isn’t to say that there isn’t value in extended, solitary meditation sessions. But in a world where we don’t have a ton of extra time, there are lots of small ways you can use mindfulness and small doses of meditation to make your days calmer, happier, and much less stressful.

Try following these simple tips to do just that –

Open up: If we want to receive guidance of any kind, we’ve got to open up the channels and release all the tension. Stretching helps. Journaling’s not so bad. Talking it out is pretty good too.

Set an intention: Where are you at? What do you want for yourself today? Make it happen—declare it.

Ground yourself: What makes you feel steady and stable? Do that often.

Connect to your breath: Every so often, pay attention to the cadence and just feel it. Let it slow you down and bring you back into the focus of right now.

Gratitude: Keep being thankful for everything you have, everyone in your life, obstacles that become open doors, and all the little miracles we take for granted.

Let go: It just is. Sometimes no amount of control can move the needle so all you can do is nothing. And true control is effortless anyways.

Take care of your health, inside and out: Health is an integrative thing; doing something positive for your body has positive effects on the mind, as well. Whether it’s cooking yourself a satisfying meal, grocery shopping for organic produce, or choosing a green smoothie instead of a donut in the morning, think of every positive decision you make for your health as a gift.

Think of meditation as a gym for your mind. There are many resources out there, however I recommend the Headspace app for beginners to learn the basics of meditation with guided and unguided exercises.

To learn more about Louise Stanger and her interventions and other resources, visit her website.

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