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Practicing mindfulness meditation for just a few minutes a day is known to relieve symptoms of stress such as: hypertension, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue and pain, just to name a few.

The benefits don't stop there. When we turn our awareness inward, we learn to watch our thoughts, feelings and moods which helps us to manage anger and frustration.  As we spend time with our inner self, we are experiencing a spiritual connection, bringing about a feeling of balance, relaxation and inner peace for true healing of mind, body and spirit.

There is an undeniable connection between the state of the mind and the state of the physical body. The advances in science and technology have proven that there is wisdom in incorporating meditation into your daily routine. What used to be practiced almost exclusively in the east is now mainstream in the west.

The good news for those of us with crazy, hectic lives (all of us) is that you don't have to spend three years on a mountaintop in India in silence.  You don't even have to spend hours a day holed up in a peaceful room in your house.  Studies show that you will begin to reap the physical benefits, such as lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and more restful sleep with only 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation per day.

Here are some tips to begin:

· Sit, wherever you are and lightly close your eyes.

· Focus on the sensation of your breath as you breathe in and out.  It often helps to keep you focused if you say silently to yourself, "I'm breathing in…I'm breathing out".

· As you feel your body begin to relax, be completely aware of your surroundings.  Feel your body on the chair, your feet on the ground, your clothing against your skin. Listen to the sounds around you and be OK with them. 

Don't Judge

When you notice yourself thinking i.e.: remembering what happened earlier in the day, the week or when you were 10, or planning what you need to do when you are done meditating or where you are going this weekend, let go of those thoughts (and don't beat yourself up about it) and ground your awareness in the present by focusing on your breath again.  "I'm breathing in…I'm breathing out".

Consistency is the key.  You only need to start with 10 minutes a day to begin seeing results.  It's like brushing your teeth, you don't have to do it for a long time, but do it every day.

And don't think that you have to be in a peaceful environment in order to meditate.  The purpose is to find the peaceful place within no matter where you are.  Remember this: 'Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart".

Lisa Chapman-Sorci

Owner and primary teacher/practitioner:

Healing Alternatives Meditation Center in Carmichael, California

Lisa has been practicing meditation since 1977.

Contact: (P) 916.606.7388 (Email) Lisa@Healing-Alternatives.org

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