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Whole Living: Meditation

With the stress of everything that's going on these days, a few minutes of calm sounds nice doesn't it? We walk you through the benefits of meditation.

TAMPA, Fla. — We could all use some calm and escape these days, couldn't we? 

Our minds are racing with not just the stressors of this pandemic, but our everyday tasks that haven't stopped because our world seemed to. 

In our series, "Whole Living"  we want to show you how a few minutes of meditation could help you find some long-term peace.

"Meditation coming to a place of stillness and focusing on one thing."

Autumn Scanio is a master yoga and meditation teacher and an Energetic Wellness and Alignment Coach. 

"In our waking day-to-day, we're constantly everywhere, so meditation is that training. We go to the gyms, we're constantly working out our body, it's just a workout for the mind."

Easier said than done, right? We'd love to stop our minds from racing all the time. Meditation is intimidating. That seems really hard to focus on one thing and be that present. 

"I would recommend if you're first starting out meditating, do it after exercise. Whether you're running or the gym, or if you want to meditate in the morning, try to do some kind of movement to get some of that stiffness out of your body."

So, why meditate? 

Scanio says it can lower anxiety, depression and stress. It can also strengthen your focus and attention span, decrease blood pressure, improve sleep and reduce chronic pain. 

"When you're able to sit still and follow the breath, you let things pass, whether they're thoughts. And a lot of times, our suffering is because of thoughts. Thoughts about the pain more so than the actual pain."

Scanio says the best way to start is through mindfulness.

"Washing the dishes and only washing the dishes. Or brushing your teeth and only brushing your teeth. Think about it, you're washing your hair but you're thinking about what you're wearing, your day you're already not even there."

She says to start small. Give yourself five minutes a day.

You can use the wall, a chair or lay on your back, but keep your spine long, so the energy can flow through. 

And, be consistent. Find a time and a space that works for you. That way, your brain will recognize what you're doing.

"Meditation will give you time because what you're practicing in meditation gives you that focus. So the time you put into meditation, you will receive in your life. So throughout your day, you're going to be more mindful, you're not going to be scattered."

Autumn also recommends guided mediation for beginners.

There are a lot of apps for it. Here are a few to get you started:

Calm, Headspace, Ten Percent Happier, Buddhify, Unplug, Simple Habit, Insight Timer

Also, check out Allison's IGTV.  Scanio walked her through a 5-minute meditation you can do with them to try it out.

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