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Training / June 2019
By Alice Oglethorpe

FINDING CALM IN THE CHAOS

Meditation might not be the latest hot trend to hit the wellness world, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. It can reduce stress, help you focus, and even possibly boost your immune system. And all of those benefits mean now is the perfect time to try it. When the crazy schedule of the holiday season makes you frazzled, you can use meditation to stay calm and peaceful. What better gift to yourself is there?

A New Look at Meditation

Sure, meditation has been practiced in one form or another for more than 3,000 years, but it’s just as helpful today as it was back then – if not more so! You don’t need to be an expert yogi or wear long robes or be religious to practice meditation. All you need is an open mind, a few minutes to yourself, and a quiet room (and sometimes you don’t even need that!).


How Do You Actually Do It?

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Here’s one of the best parts about meditation: You don’t need to carve out an entire hour in your day for it. Meditation is not some monumental task you need to find space for in your already packed schedule. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet spot – it can be in your bedroom before you go into the kitchen to entertain a house full of family, it can be in your car before you enter the chaos that is the mall. Just sit quietly, close your eyes, relax your jaw and facial muscles, and breathe slowly (try letting your exhales take longer than your inhales).
Try to be as conscious as you can about your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Don’t worry about something that happened in the past or feel stressed about how busy your day is tomorrow. This is a time to focus on the present. Be patient with yourself – if your mind wanders, just gently bring it back to focus on the moment again.


The Reason for the Season

While slowly breathing and focusing on the present is the simplest way to meditate, there are other methods worth trying. For example, you can spend your time meditating feeling gratitude (something especially important during the holidays). While you’re sitting there quietly, think about things you’re grateful for in your life – it can be your strong legs that carried you on your morning run, your supportive partner, or the delicious pie your mom cooked up for dessert. This is the perfect way to start your day off positively or end it on a high note.
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Do It on the Go
If you feel more at peace when you’re doing something active, then you might want to give moving meditation a try (it can be hard for some people to feel calm when they’re still!). Head out for a walk around your neighbourhood or go on a hike in the woods and focus on all five senses. What are you seeing, smelling, hearing? How does the air feel against your skin? What can you taste? Remain as present as you can while moving your body through the world.
Training / June 2019
By Alice Oglethorpe