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Just Breathe: Meditation Tips to Clear Your Mind

Grab some Zen and tackle everyday stressors through meditation.

meditation tips

(Photo: PEOPLEIMAGES / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS)

We all have stress in our daily lives. Whether it’s work-related, family-induced or we just find ourselves without enough time to complete necessary daily tasks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. One way to combat these pressures is through meditation.

Why should I meditate?

Clinical psychologist Pamela Julien speaks to the pros of meditation and its healing powers.

“Meditation quiets the restless, overactive mind, releases pent-up emotional and physical energy and facilitates alignment with the higher self, lending to deep relaxation, peacefulness and mental clarity,” she said.

OK, but where do I start?

Be concrete with your intention. It helps to establish a regular routine. Think of it as making an appointment with yourself in a regular place, like a favorite chair, separating yourself from external distractions.

“Go into that space, even if just for a few minutes, with the sincere desire to center, be peaceful and whole,” Julien said.

Do I need to be a certain religion?

Nope! “Meditation is inclusive of all ideologies and perspectives and is beneficial for people in all walks of life,” Julien said. “Different practices use different ways to get there, but the goal is the same.”

Indeed, meditation practices have long been used by many people, and date back to ancient history, but many have been modernized with the use of apps.

Awesome! Which one is best for me?

Headspace: This app is great for beginners. The interface is structured, friendly and easy, offering access to classes dealing with issues such as stress, sleep and pain management. The app features meditations of different lengths, including quick meditations for when you’re short on time or just need a quick boost.

Calm: Calm is a good choice for the more experienced meditator. The app offers a plethora of ambient music, instructional videos and individual exercises.

Insight Timer: This free app provides users access to guided meditations, advice from experts and access to discussion groups. If desired, Insight Timer will also provide you with a gentle reminder when it’s time for your daily meditation.

Find more tips on healthy living. AAA.com/HealthFitness

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