mind­ful­ness

How to chill out and im­prove your health while you’re at it.

Canadian Living - - Great Reads - TEXT AMANDA ETTY IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS EM­I­LIE SIMP­SON

Med­i­tate more, stress less— eas­ier said than done, right? We could all use a lit­tle med­i­ta­tion in our lives, but when do we find the time to sim­ply sit and be? Research shows that med­i­ta­tion is good for the body and the brain, but it can be in­tim­i­dat­ing if you don’t know where to be­gin. The good news is you can do it any time and any­where. With this in mind, we turned to two med­i­ta­tion teach­ers to share mini mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tions for ev­ery­day sce­nar­ios, from your morn­ing shower to your end-ofthe-work­day com­mute.

What is mind­ful med­i­ta­tion?

Mind­ful­ness is less about spir­i­tu­al­ity and more about the abil­ity to quiet your mind, fo­cus on the task at hand and dis­miss dis­trac­tions that come your way. Ac­cord­ing to Emily Thring, founder and di­rec­tor of Toron­to­based med­i­ta­tion stu­dio The Quiet Com­pany, “mind­ful­ness is fo­cus­ing on one task at a time, be­ing en­gaged in a con­ver­sa­tion or even pay­ing at­ten­tion dur­ing a sim­ple chore, like wash­ing dishes.”

One way to prac­tise mind­ful­ness is by med­i­tat­ing. “This [mind­ful­ness] is a mod­ern, sec­u­lar strand of med­i­ta­tion that is of­ten de­fined as cul­ti­vat­ing a sense of mo­ment-to-mo­ment, non­judg­men­tal aware­ness,” writes Lon­don-based med­i­ta­tion teacher Emma Mills in her book In­hale,

Ex­hale, Re­peat. Mod­ern science has con­firmed the po­ten­tial ben­e­fits of med­i­ta­tion, in­clud­ing im­proved brain func­tion, en­ergy lev­els and mood; re­duced blood pres­sure; and bet­ter sleep, among myr­iad other wins. All the more rea­son to take a deep breath and pre­pare to re­lax.

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