March Into Meditation
While the month of March is known as “National Nutrition Month,” it’s important to highlight different areas of our lives that can help play a factor in nutrition and overall health and wellness.
Meditation is a mind-body discipline used to quiet the mind and improve health and well-being.
Meditation influences many important parts of the body – both mental and physical, including:
Brain Function: This is the ability of the brain to change and adapt throughout life.
The Autonomic Nervous System: This system regulates unconscious activity like heartbeat and digestive function.
Immune Function: This is the system that fights off infection and protects the body from invaders like bacteria and viruses.
The Endocrine System: This system regulates hormones.
Metabolism: Includes essential bodily functions that maintain life, like using food for energy.
Higher levels of stress are associated with obesity and overall poor health. Regular meditation can help to reduce binge eating and emotional eating behavior and help channel other stress and emotions in a more beneficial way. Pairing meditation with mindful eating is a promising approach to help to achieve your health and wellness goals.
What are some ways to meditate?
Meditation can be different for everyone. You can meditate anywhere – your car, your desk, in the waiting room for an appointment, but ideally, you should find a quiet place with few distractions. Focus on your breathing and close your eyes if you’d like to, even just for 30 seconds. During meditation, it’s best to acknowledge and dismiss thoughts as they come up without getting caught up in emotions or feelings and placing those thoughts to the side for later. With enough practice, eventually, you should be able to move from 30 seconds to several minutes!
A great day to try meditation for the first time? Friday, March 4th
Friday, March 4th serves as the “National Day of Unplugging,” so it can be a great starting point to help ease stress and begin your meditation journey, simply by turning your phone or laptop off for a short amount of time.
Typically, the National Day of Unplugging is a 24-hour respite from technology annually observed the first weekend in March, but if you are unable to observe the full day, set your devices to Do Not Disturb, even for just 15 minutes if you are able to.
Disconnecting from the endless and constant stimulation we have at our fingertips can be beneficial to our health, by reengaging and practicing being present in those moments where we are free from technology.
Earth day is April 22nd, also serving as another day you can connect with the outdoors and set aside some time to meditate and disconnect as well.