Meditation exercises can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure – Midland Reporter-Telegram

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Have you ever driven home from work and realized you have no idea how you got home? You might even second guess if you stopped at all the stop signs and red lights. Often, we are so preoccupied with the next task that we don’t pay attention to the present moment. We stress out ourselves with never-ending to-do lists and don’t pay any mind to what is going on around us or even inside of us. We may even do the opposite and spend too much time dwelling on the past. Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the present and accept it without judgment.

Mindfulness can have several positive effects on our well-being. It has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression; lower blood pressure; and improve sleep. Mindful meditation is easy to implement into your daily routine.

Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take five minutes at the end of the day to try this mindful meditation exercise:

–Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take slow, even breaths.

–If your mind wanders, slowly bring it back to your breathing until you feel your body relaxing.

–Then, imagine a peaceful scene and describe it to yourself in detail. Or, you can reflect on your day.

–Where does your mind take you?

Ask yourself, what is peaceful about the place I am in? What do I hear, see, feel, smell and taste? Or ask yourself, what about today went well? What did I accomplish? What can I choose to let go of today?

Ending the day with a mindful exercise can help us slow down, relax and appreciate the day — something that many of us don’t always take time to do.

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