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Meditation is Spiritual Self Care

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Meditation is Spiritual Self Care

Insight Timer, a popular guided meditation app, is available for both Apple and Android. Photo courtesy of Hannah Shulski '19.

Insight Timer, a popular guided meditation app, is available for both Apple and Android. Photo courtesy of Hannah Shulski '19.

Insight Timer, a popular guided meditation app, is available for both Apple and Android. Photo courtesy of Hannah Shulski '19.

Insight Timer, a popular guided meditation app, is available for both Apple and Android. Photo courtesy of Hannah Shulski '19.

Hannah Shulski, Faith in Action Editor

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Everyone knows that eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep are small steps to living a happier life, but taking time out of a stressful day to unwind is just as important. This is where meditation comes in. According to Xavier Fitness of Mind and Body teacher Vanessa Running, meditation is “paying attention with a specific intention while increasing stability and mental clarity”.  With meditation, self-care is not buying products that will temporarily make you feel good; instead, it becomes a way to look inward and grow.

One of the benefits of meditation is that it is a very general concept, meaning that you can meditate however you like. Some people like to light candles and incense before they meditate. Others like to end their yoga sessions with a brief meditation. However, if you are at the beginning of your meditation journey and do not know where to start, you might want to try listening to guided meditations. Guided meditations are digital audio files, similar to podcasts, where yoga and meditation teachers gently lead their listeners into a meditation session. They can be found on Spotify, Audible, or on Insight Timer, an app specially designed to help people meditate. Listening to guided meditations is perfect if you are a beginner, especially since you might be unsure of how to take this time and reflect.

While meditation is not necessarily a religious practice, you can incorporate your faith into your meditation sessions. Running says that meditation can be used in multiple ways, including to strengthen “your own awareness, your personal relationship with God, and your connection with other people, animals, and the environment surrounding you”. Some Christians use meditation as a form of prayer, where they chose a certain verse from the Bible to contemplate. If you do identify with a religion and would like to prayerfully meditate, try reading your faith’s sacred texts and selecting a portion of it that speaks to you, making sure to think about this excerpt while you meditate.

Meditation is inclusive. Whether you are religious or not, it is a practice that will help care for yourself. If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself for the new year, then why not give meditation a try?

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Meditation is Spiritual Self Care