Panic attackWhat could be worse than having a panic attack? How about having a panic attack in front of five million people! That’s what happened to Dan Harris. Dan is an ABC News TV presenter in 2005. Initially Dan tried to deal with it by self-medicating. Then as luck would have it he was assigned to do a story on meditation. As as result he delved deeper in to meditation and started using it to help with his anxiety. He then went on to write a best selling book called “10% Happier” and started a podcast of the same name. Both are highly recommended.
Benefits of meditationThere has been a lot of scientific research in to meditation.
- A study published in the Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine found that meditating boosts immune function.
- Research published in the NCBI found meditating decreases pain.
- The American Psychological Association found that meditating increases positive emotion.
- Psychology Today published a post which says meditation has been shown to decrease depression.
- Science Direct says that meditation can reduce anxiety.
- The American Psychological Association found that meditation lowers stress levels.
- Psychology Today states that meditating helps with emotional self control.
- The NIH says that meditating helps people increase their attention span.
- The Association for Computer Machinery says meditation improves the ability to multi-task.
- Psychology Today found that meditation improves your persons memory.
Famous people who meditateIf you haven’t heard of Dan Harris, consider a few other famous people who meditate.
- Katy Perry
- Hugh Jackman
- Clint Eastwood
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Lady Gaga
- Paul McCartney
- Oprah Winfrey
How to meditateThere are many great videos, classes and even smartphone apps to help you meditate. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated however, you can start with this simple meditation:
Find a comfortable, upright, seat.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
Slowly inhale through your nose and silently repeat the word “IN.“ Feel the air coming in.
Slowly exhale through your mouth, silently repeat the word “OUT.“ Feel the air going out.
If you notice your mind wander, simply let the thoughts leave your mind and continue.
When your timer goes off, take a few more deep breaths before opening your eyes.
That’s all there is to it! Frequency of meditation is more important than duration. Five minutes of meditation every day is actually more beneficial than one hour once a week. It is also good idea to set a timer for the amount of time you choose. Find (or make) five minutes in your schedule and set a reminder to meditate.