Photo via Grace Yoga on Highland.

Reduce anxiety with at-home meditation tips

Taking care of yourself is even more important in the world we live in today. And while your physical health is a top priority, it’s crucial not to neglect your mental health as well. Things like bubble baths, reflection journals, baking and meditation are all great ways to have a little extra “me time” and make sure you’re feeling your best.

We talked with Shannon Davis and Shelley Mockler of Grace Yoga on Highland, which hosts regular live classes online here, to find out what they’re doing to be their best selves these days.

“Meditation can be a very important tool in times of increased stress, anxiety and uncertainty,” says Davis. “Just a few minutes a day can help to promote emotional health.”

So, if you find yourself not knowing how or where to begin, the women of Grace Yoga are here to share 10 tips to help you find some stillness and calm in your day:

1. Anytime, anywhere.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or even planned. You can meditate anywhere. Simply breathe in and notice the sounds of your breath. You just had your first glimpse of meditation!

2. Find what works for you.

There is no time minimum or maximum. Some people take longer than others to get into a place of stillness and some drop into calm quickly. Set a modest goal of 1 to 2 minutes each day and slowly increase the time if desired.

3. Count your breaths.

If it is difficult at first, try counting your breaths. Start with five and build from there. Try to just listen to the breath in and out.

4. Work your lungs.

Take slow, full, deep belly breaths.

5. No judgement zone.

It’s about training your awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment.

6. Don’t worry about a thing.

Don’t be overly worried about technique. Sit, stand or find any comfy position and just breathe. No grocery lists, to-do lists or solving world problems–just breathe. However, do not be surprised if you find that after meditating, you discover answers to situations or problems you have been pondering.

7. Bring it back to the breath.

Thoughts are going to trickle in. Even the best of meditators battle thoughts coming and going. The key is to not let those thoughts hijack your mind away from your concentration. When you begin to think, reel the mind back on the breath.

8. In with the good, out with the bad.

Some people meditate with specific words called mantras. Give this a try: On an inhale think “love” and on the exhale, think “fear.” Inhale love, exhale fear repeating this mantra either mentally or verbally.

9. Need guidance? There’s an app for that.

There are some helpful apps available that can help you learn to meditate. Davis personally uses the Calm and Headspace apps but there are many others. They have many offerings as well as guided meditations that can free-flow or be timed.

10. Find your peace.

Start small, stay present, feel the inner peace and relaxation of each meditation. Enjoy!

How are you keeping it cool at home? Let us know in the comments below.