According to psychologist Dr. Joe Taravella, M.D., meditation can keep your brain from shrinking! "As we age, the frontal-cortex part of our brain begins to thin, and meditation slows the thinning of our brain tissue," Taravella says. "[This] helps ward off signs of mental aging in attention, working memory and cognitive and emotional processing."
To take the confusion out of the practice and break down the three easiest ways to get started, we've enlisted the help of Gabrielle Bernstein, author of The New York Times bestseller "Miracles Now." So, as the Beatles sang, "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream," to more relaxed and healthy living.
The Omm-mazing Benefits
Surround Yourself with Positive Energy (and a Comfy Chair)
Whether you prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion, just make sure to relax your body and adapt better posture by lengthening your spine. Once you've made sure to release any tension in the body (specifically in the shoulders, neck and face), take a moment to be silent and still before tip-toeing into one of the following methods.
The One-Minute Meditation Method
"Silence your mind and calm your energy," Bernstein advises. "Then, follow these steps for 60 seconds."
1) Breathe in for five seconds
2) Hold your breath for five seconds
3) Release your breath for five seconds
4) Hold the exhale for five seconds
In order to bring your mind and body together in the present, MM focuses on breath -- not necessarily controlling it, but being aware of each breath you take and how it connects with your body. One of the perks of practicing this form of meditation is that while it's always ideal to practice in a quiet, comfortable space, MM is practiced with the eyes open and is about letting your mind objectively flow through thoughts -- so not only is the set-up simple, you can practice for any length of time.