Written by Derrick Skinner, Certified Health Coach at Found Edited by Lynn Yudofsky, MD, Director of Behavioral Health at Found
At Found, we believe meditation can be extremely powerful for managing stress and helping your weight care journey. Studies have shown that chronic elevated stress levels may contribute to weight gain. And meditation may be one of the best ways to lower stress levels by becoming more in tune with your body, reducing brain chatter, improving concentration, and feeling calmer overall! The best part about meditation? It’s free! Here are a few #FOUNDtips for beginners to support you in your meditation journey to becoming a mindful master!
The main benefit of meditation is becoming more aware of what you’re thinking and feeling. We know it can be a bit overwhelming at first to find the time to meditate, especially when you’re new to the practice. You’re busy after all! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s definitely something you can build on over time. What’s the risk? A lifestyle change that can reduce anxiety and stress? Yes please!
Here are 5 #FOUNDhacks to remember before you start meditating:
1) Decide how much time you want to meditate. If you’re just starting out, 1-10 minutes a day is enough! You can build up gradually.
2) Sit down in a comfy position with your eyes closed (this helps keep you focused) and concentrate on feeling every sensation in your body. You can sit in a chair, criss-cross on the floor, or grab your favorite pillow to kneel on!
3) Relax and breathe in and out. Remember, it’s totally normal to have other thoughts; let them go and don’t worry about messing up! It’s all about practice.
4) Be kind to yourself when your mind wanders! It’s easy to get lost in your to-do list or what happened last week. When this happens, bring yourself back into focus and concentrate on your breathing. Don’t judge yourself. It’s all about learning, and soon enough, you’ll be living more in the moment!
5) As you end the meditation session, notice how your body and mind feel. Thank your body for all it’s hard work, and give yourself a hug!
Balancing stress is one of our FOUND Pillars, and meditation gives you the gift of just that - slowing down your pace, stopping your racing thoughts, and coming back down to earth with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
Now, get ready to zen out with this meditation :)
1) Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and hands on your knees facing upwards. Close your eyes and start to focus on your breath.
2) Start with 5 minutes of deep breathing. During each breathing cycle, inhale in for 3-5 seconds, hold the breath for 3-5 seconds, and then exhale the breath slowly for 3-5 seconds.
3) Focus on the subtle movements of your body and notice the sensations you feel when your’re breathing.
4) When a stressful thought pops into your head, visualize and embrace it. Decompress and digest the thought by trying not to overthink it and let it pass. We have a choice when actively letting our thoughts in and out of our mind, and can bring ourselves back to this present moment.
5) Do this exercise daily, even for just a few minutes, to help find your inner peace!
Meditating for just a few moments every day can help calm anxiety and increase focus on the things that matter most. Even more important, it actually has the ability to alter the way you think to promote physical activity and lifestyle changes. Pretty cool, huh?