Meditation: Some science on why you should try it

There's no doubt that having a mindfulness meditation practice has been gaining popularity in our culture. And for good reason - more and more people are figuring out that it works.

Without diving too, too deep... here's the bit of science that convinced me to give a consistent daily meditation practice a try. Think of the brain like a muscle, which is connected to your nervous system. One part of our nervous system is called the autonomic nervous system, or the subconscious response. It's responsible for our "fight or flight" and "rest and digest" responses. By taking the time daily to stop, slow, down and breathe - you are strengthening the "muscle" in your brain that tells your rest and digest response to turn on. Over time and with consistent practice, you are essentially shrinking the likelihood of tapping into the "fight or flight" response. Reducing the chance of acting like a lesser version of yourself. It leads to better decision making, responses, and emotional regulation. Basically making you a more grounded and level headed person.

We are lucky that there are countless free mediation apps. Making it easier to get started and to keep going with a daily practice. The hard part is becoming disciplined enough to carve out the time everyday to sit. Great if you can sit for 20+ minutes a day to meditate. Though if you're able to sit for just 5 minutes, that's really all you need. It's more about being consistent, rather than length of time. I meditate for 5-10 minutes every morning after I workout, and before Leila Mae wakes up. That routine works for me. It's when it best fits into my schedule and helps me kick off the day feeling energized and balanced. It may take some trial and error to figure out the time of day to commit to, as well as a realistic duration. Once you establish what works best with your schedule, meditating will quickly become part of your daily routine.

A few free meditation apps I like: Calm, Insight Timer, 10% Happier.

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