Consider these benefits of meditation for mental health

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to relax, why not take up meditation? It offers many health benefits and even better, it’s a free activity you can do pretty much anywhere.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to relax, why not take up meditation?

It offers many health benefits and even better, it’s a free activity you can do pretty much anywhere.

“Clinical research has indicated that meditation is great for the body and the mind,” said Dr. Susan Albers, a psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “Studies have shown that it helps to decrease stress, increase your ability to deal with anxiety, chronic health issues and helps you to cope with pain, to sleep better and to reduce your blood pressure.”

Albers said there are all kinds of meditation styles, but the general rule stays the same -- to help calm your mind and give you a sense of peace.

So, where do you begin if you’re new to meditation? She recommends sitting down in a quiet space with no distractions. Next, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.

You don’t have to sit there for long either, even just a few minutes can help. The key is to simply relax.

Albers said if you realize you are having a lot of thoughts while meditating that’s okay, just try to bring yourself back to the moment.

“There are a lot of misperceptions about meditation. We often think that it takes a lot of time or that it is boring or that it is difficult. In fact, anyone can participate in meditation,” she said.

Albers said if you seem to be having trouble meditating on your own, there are many apps out there and online video tutorials that can guide you.