Want to lower your blood pressure, improve sleep, and reduce stress?

Consider meditation. It’s easy to learn, and it can be practiced by anyone, from any spiritual tradition, in just a few minutes a day.

Since I began meditating, I handle life’s curve balls much better and am finally taming my fierce Hungarian temper. I’m not a guru or a yogi—just an ordinary worry-wart mom. If I can meditate, anyone can.

Here’s how to get started:

1. Find a Quiet Place
Silence the phone, close the door, and minimize distractions. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

2. Get Comfy
You can meditate in any position that allows you to breathe deeply. Try standing up, walking slowly, sitting in a straight-backed chair, kneeling, or even lying down. If you’re able, sit cross-legged or in the lotus position with a small cushion underneath you. Whatever posture you choose, keep your spine straight. Slumping makes it harder to breathe.

3. Stay Focused
It’s easier to avoid getting distracted if you find a way to center your attention. I like to focus on my breath—the physical act of inhaling and exhaling. You can also gaze at a small object from nature, listen to calming music, or repeat a word or short phrase. When mental chatter interferes (and it will!), gently return to your focus.

4. Lose the Guilt
Don’t scold yourself if your attention wanders. It happens to everyone. The act of showing up to meditate is the most important part of the process. Even if you don’t do it perfectly, you’ll still reap the benefits.

Overscheduled? Start with just five minutes of meditation at a time, then build up to longer sessions. The health benefits will be more than worth the time you invest.

About Our Author

Maria Veres

Maria Veres is a freelance writer based in Oklahoma City. She has practiced meditation for four years and has a long-standing commitment to a healthy lifestyle. She has written for many online and print publications, including Outlook Magazine, Oklahoma Nursing Times, Country Woman, Make A Living Writing, and Bridal Guide. She teaches creative writing at Francis Tuttle Technology Center

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