Are you hiding under the bed yet? Listen: We're as freaked out as you are about Hurricane Sandy but if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that fear begets more fear. So in the interest of helping you tamp down your nerves, we have a simple suggestion: Set aside 10 minutes and learn how to meditate.
Last week, we polled Prevention readers to get a sense of whether or not you meditate regularly. The results? Almost 37% of you meditate at least sometimes, and a whopping 44% said you would, if only you knew how. That's where we come in.
You already know that the benefits of meditation include stress relief, improved memory, and better relationships, to name a few. But that won't do you much good if your blood pressure spikes just thinking about sitting still for five minutes. The good news is that this doesn't mean you can't meditate; you just haven't found the right fit.
There are a million and one different ways to meditate. Here, four easy ones that are tailored to your personality type (and the stormy weather).
1. If you're artsy... light a candle. You may not have a choice in the matter if your lights conk out, but embrace it as an opportunity to tune in. "Concentrating on a flame can be a good way for visual types to stay in the moment," says McLean. Sit three feet from a flame at eye level, and watch it closely for five to 10 minutes. Make it a natural candle if you can; synthetic fragrances have been liked to allergies, headaches, and even diabetes.
2. If you're a foodie... savor each bite. Here's an excuse to have a little piece of chocolate: "By turning your focus inward and concentrating on sensations such as taste and smell, eating can feel like a new, exciting experience," says McLean. For step-by-step instruction, see our piece about 3 Weird New Ways to Meditate, and follow the directions to a more peaceful you.
3. If you're athletic... do some yoga. Walking meditation might be our physical-mindfulness method of choice, but nothing kills your bliss like whipping winds and the fear of falling trees. Instead, lay down on the floor and try these easy asanas to quiet your mind—even when the windows are rattling.
4. If you're a word lover... find a mantra. Sometimes your mind just needs a place to rest. Repeating calming words can give your mind that opportunity to chill. Find a quiet place and sit with your back straight but not rigid. Set your egg timer to 10 minutes, and repeat words that will help settle—rather than stimulate—your mind. Try saying "Let" on an inhale and "go" on an exhale, either out loud or silently to yourself. "It can help interrupt the monologue in your head and naturally settle down your thinking process," says McLean.
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