I don’t know about you but the word meditation by it self used to intimate me like crazy. I had this picture of a yoga master “humming” away and I was thinking I can’t do that! I can’t sit still for more then 1 minute before my mind takes over with 1000 thoughts (I have to pick up the dry cleaning, I have to work on this project, what am I going to wear next week-end for my conference) you know what I mean don’t you? I had to truly understand the meaning of meditation before I finally gave it a go!

Meditation is simply being in a state of awareness. When your mind is focused on one thing, and is free of all other distractions, it can be considered meditation. I started by just sitting down quiet for 2 to 3 minutes after my work-outs. It was very difficult at first but like anything in life if you want to get better at it – you need to practice. I have used Dr. Wayne Dyer's meditation CD – manifest your destiny to get me started. Find out what works for you but give it a shot! It is truly worth it and you won’t believe its benefits!

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation gives you the skills that allow you to feel centered, calm and happy no matter what you are going through in life. Meditation is a form of relaxation that can bring about many benefits to the psyche of a person such as:

* Decreases stress
* Improves mood
* Decreases depression
* Increases memory
* Decreases moodiness

Meditation is not only for the mind but there are several health benefits:

Some physical benefits of meditation include:

* Reduces blood pressure and an improvement in breathing due to the increase of air flow that gets to the lungs;
* Lowers resting heart rate (which takes some of the stress off the heart);
* Lowers stress and anxiety levels; and
* Promotes youthful skin and a youthful appearance.

Additionally, meditation can be a great problem solving tool. If you have a problem you cannot solve, meditation can help you clear your mind and uncover a solution that daily logic may not see.

How To Meditate

The secret to meditating is learning how to relax and clear your mind. There are few general rules to help you get to your state of awareness:

1. Start by selecting some relaxing music or use a meditation CD. (This is also a perfect place to use you affirmation recording, if you made one.)
2. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
3. Get comfortable in a seated position.
4. Close your eyes.
5. Take several deep breaths. Listen to yourself breathe.
6. As you begin to relax your body, concentrate on each body part. Start by relaxing your neck. You can do this by gentle moving your head in small circles from side to side and back and forth.
7. Take several deep breathes. Listen to yourself breathe.
8. Relax your shoulders by rolling them a few times and then lowering them.
9. Relax your arms and hands.
10. Relax your chest and abdomen.
11. Relax your legs. knees, calves, ankles and feet.
12. To relax further, you can count backwards from 25 to 1.
13. Once you are relaxed, think about your purpose, the reason you are meditating.

Tips for successful meditation

* Do not meditate within 24 hours of having consumed alcohol or non-prescription drugs.
* Do not meditate within 2 hours of having consumed a large meal or within 1 hour of having consumed caffeine or a light snack.
* Do not meditate within 30 minutes of having smoked.
* Turn off all phones and Blackberry devices or turn them to silent.
* Dim the lights.
* Light a candle.
* Remove your shoes and loosen any tight clothing.
* Do not be frustrated if other thoughts keep popping into your head while you are trying to meditate. It takes practice to focus on one issue at a time. As you meditate more frequently, the easier it will become.
* Stick with it. The more often you do it, the more you will get out of it.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp, B. Sc., D.C. is co-author of the book Wellness On the Go: Take the Plunge - it’s Your Life! And the founder of www.roadmaptowellness.com, and on-line wellness education program. Dr. Beauchamp is a chiropractor, a certified personal fitness trainer, a professional bodybuilder, a TV personality, a corporate wellness consultant and an inspirational speaker.

As the co-author of the book Wellness On the Go, I would like to invite you to claim instant access to 3 chapters of my book by visiting www.wellnessonthegofreechapters.com

Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp www.drnathaliebeauchamp.com