With today’s always-on digital culture, it’s important to take some time to switch off.

Being inundated daily with notifications, alerts, phone calls and messages can make us anxious and negatively impact physical and psychological well-being.

One way to achieve a more balanced lifestyle is meditation. Including this practice as part of your daily routine can help cultivate peace of mind and emotional well-being.

Practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs, meditation has become a popular way of dealing with the stresses of modern life. It is a way to disconnect from our surroundings and turn the focus inward to our thoughts and feelings, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves.

While some of the benefits include reducing stress, controlling anxiety and decreasing blood pressure, it can also improve sleep by allowing your mind to slow down and encourage a calmer, more relaxed state.

How to meditate

  • Sit or lie comfortably.
  • Close your eyes. An eye mask can encourage deeper relaxation.
  • Make no effort to control your breathing; simply breathe naturally.
  • Focus your attention on breathing and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

If you find focusing on your breath difficult at the start, download an app like Headspace or Insight Timer to guide you through meditation.

Benefits of meditation

  • Reduces stress
  • Controls anxiety
  • Improves concentration
  • Promotes emotional health
  • Enhances self-awareness
  • Lengthens attention span
  • Improves sleep