Editor’s note: In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, which spans over May, we invited meditation instructor Luciana Garcia to discuss the positive effects of meditation. Garcia is also a life coach, hypnotherapist and the co-founder of The Meditation Studio on 6130 Montana Ave. Learn more about Garcia and her services at IAmLuciana.com.
Meditation is a powerful and efficient tool to help us release stress, deal with our emotions and overall create a deeper connection with ourselves. Physical, mental and emotional stress are the root factors that cause anxiety and depression in many people. Meditation is a natural way to be able to cope with our thoughts and our emotions as it opens the space to surrender to what it is that we are living without judgment.
Our mental health is closely connected to how we feel emotionally. It is very common for us to move through life feeling like we have no power over our emotional reactions, as if we are just leaves in the wind with no idea where we will land. We are used to projecting our emotions onto others or even blaming ourselves, and that only creates more inner and outer conflict within our lives.
Meditation helps us to understand that we have emotions, but we are not only our emotions. We have thoughts, but we are not only our thoughts. We open a space to become the observers of what we live. As we begin to be mindful about our emotional state and learn to observe our emotions consciously, we begin to feel more in charge of what we are living in life. It is then that we find more peace of mind and emotional stability.
One simple mindfulness meditation practice is to begin to pay attention to our breath; just inhale and exhale, aware of how our lungs expand, how our chests rise.
Through awareness, we become one with our breath. When we get distracted with passing thoughts, we simply bring our awareness back to our breath. It’s simple – every time we bring our attention to our breath, we bring our attention from outside of ourselves within. This is the first step for emotional mindfulness.
Meditation is so simple, but it takes surrendering and acceptance. A simple mindfulness meditation practice can create huge changes in our mental health. It will help us reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps us understand our emotions, and as a result, we feel more at peace, stable and we overall nourish healthier relationships.
I encourage everyone to begin a meditation practice – even a few minutes a day can change your life.