If there was one thing you could do in the morning to help you stay focused, reduce stress, and even lower your risk for heart disease, would you do it? We thought so.
This small-but-mighty A.M. habit? Meditation.
Meditation is practice that encourages you to slow down and find relaxation through mindfulness. “What I love about mediation is that it gives me the ability to understand that my thoughts aren’t controlling me—and I think that’s important for everyone to know,” says Holly Rilinger, a Nike master trainer and former pro athlete.
Not only does meditation have a host of mental and physical health benefits, but it can also be an invaluable reset button for many people’s hectic lifestyles.
“[Meditation is] really a game changer,” says Rilinger. “It’s a really special time where I get my head straight, I get my heart straight, I get my mind set right. When I’m not in that space, I feel crazy and stressed and I’m bouncing from one thing to the next. Mediation gives me space.”
Meditation may seem intimidating for a newbie, but just remember that it’s an individual practice. There’s no one-size-fits all way to do it, and everyone experiences it differently. As long as you’re relaxed and focused—on anything, whether it’s your breathing, the feel of the wind, or the food you’re eating—you’re meditating. Here’s Holly’s advice on how to start meditating.
And remember, no one’s perfect. Even Holly has trouble getting her meditation on some mornings. “Are there days when I head out the door and I didn’t get it done and I got sucked into my instagram? Yes. But in a perfect world, I wake up every day and I meditate for 10 minutes before I head out the door,” says Rilinger. “Those 10 minutes really lay down the groundwork for the rest of the day for me.” Learn more about Holly’s morning rituals.
If you skipped your morning meditation sesh, no sweat. Get back on track with one of these alternative ways to meditate.