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07.28.22 | Sage Advice

How to Combat Senioritis As An Adult

It’s not just teenagers who can feel senioritis adults can too. We’ve all experienced it at some point; laziness, disinterest, having no motivation, not caring about the outcomes of our life. But just because these symptoms of checking out are universally experienced doesn’t make them okay to ignore. Today, we’re investigating adult senioritis, how checking out can affect your wellbeing and tools you can use to combat it:

What Senioritis Looks Like As An Adult

You might know senioritis as the affliction many seniors in high school experience as they enter their final year when their motivation declines and their drive to succeed diminishes. Though this phenomenon isn’t just found in young adults, anyone can experience senioritis. 

Typically, senioritis begins when there is a sign of a major transformation occurring in life, like graduating high school or even starting a new job. It begins with a fear of the future and feeling like you may not have control over a situation. As we age, many of the small tasks we enjoy earlier in life become tiresome and lose value to us, which can lead to checking out. 

However, it’s important to remember that checking out looks different to every person. The key is to recognize the signs and signals once you see them and begin taking action to snap out of the senioritis. 

How You Can Combat It

After acknowledging that you may be checking out, don’t start by setting unattainable goals for yourself – start small. Give yourself a to-do list of a handful of goals to reach every day, whether that’s going to the grocery store to run errands or making sure you respond to all of your emails. 

Once you’ve given yourself a list of small goals to aim for, the next step is to pair an incentive to it! Use motivations that connect back to why you might be checking out in the first place; if you’re starting a job, go shopping for new work clothes. Whatever your incentive is, use that to help drive you to complete your goals. 

As you tackle senioritis and become an active participant in your life again, remember to take it one step at a time. It might not always feel like you’ll be able to step out of it, but you will. 

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12.23.21 | Sage Advice

Best Winter Day Trips Close to Chicago

While Chicago brings a variety of enjoyable activities to partake in during the winter, sometimes a break from all the bustle and noise of the city is welcome. For our fellow Bronzeville residents who might need a getaway this winter, here are the best day trips you can take to brighten your perspective with a change in scenery:  

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Only a 1-½ hour drive away sits the quaint city of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The beloved destination has been a top destination for Chicago residents for generations and offers a variety of fun-filled activities and stops for all ages. While the summer months are Geneva’s most popular tourist times, winter brings a much tamer atmosphere. 

For lovers of the outdoors, Geneva’s Lake Shore trail is the perfect opportunity to enjoy spectacular views in the brisk air. Once February arrives, the famous lake becomes filled with extraordinary ice sculptures, bonfires on the beach and more. While it is the coldest season, don’t miss your chance to experience the incredibly warm community.  

Lake Geneva’s impressive ice sculptures

Michigan City, Indiana

An adorable city located just off of Lake Michigan’s shores, Michigan City should be high on everyone’s list to visit this winter. The town is only one hour away from Chicago and is surrounded by one of America’s most stunning national wonders, the Indiana Dunes State and National Parks. While winter isn’t typically the time of year many choose to visit the lakeside landscape, witnessing the sand-swept mounds covered in layers of soft snow is sure to delight all visitors.  

While many enjoy a stroll on one of the many trails found in the park, the town offers guests a variety of other ventures, including shopping at the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, dazzling architecture at Barker Mansion and an array of wineries and breweries. 

Take a Joyride up Lake Shore Drive 

Sometimes the best day trip is just hopping in the car and taking a drive to enjoy your surroundings, which is exactly what Lake Shore Drive delivers. Arguably the prettiest extended urban parkway in the nation, the 18-mile expressway runs from Ardmore Street on its north end to 71st Street on its south end, and lucky for Bronzeville residents, the best place to start the journey is from the south.  

The ride is filled with recognizable Chicago landmarks that include the Museum of Science and Industry, Soldier Field, Navy Pier and Lincoln Park alongside spectacular views of Lake Michigan. However, once you reach the end of the trip, don’t be afraid to stop there. Exiting on N Sheffield Road will take you through several alluring suburbs filled with even more attractions and impressive architecture. 

Whether you’re taking a thrilling trip to a neighboring state or simply enjoying a joyride down a historic street, we hope this inspires you to find your new favorite winter getaway from the city! 

The stunning view of Lake Michigan from the Indiana Dunes near Michigan City, Indiana
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12.14.21 | Sage Advice

Deliciously Healthy Winter Dishes For Any Gatherings

When winter comes around, no matter where you end up, it’s not difficult to find the sweet treats and savory meals that are traditionally associated with the season. However, for those inspired to maintain or start conscious eating habits, the winter can be a difficult time filled with temptation. Today, inspired by our vibrant living principles, we’re sharing a few deliciously healthy winter dishes that anyone can enjoy this winter. 

Sweet Potatoes

A favorite during this time of year, sweet potatoes are hard not to enjoy. While most people enjoy sweet potatoes even sweeter, baked with brown sugar and marshmallows, there are various methods to cook the vegetables that are just as enjoyable but much healthier. Like a standard potato, sweet potatoes can be served in a variety of ways. Baking them whole, mashing them, and even dicing them in a salad proves how versatile the vegetables can be. No matter how you cook them, we promise they won’t lose the sweetness that makes them so delectable in the first place. 

Winter Crudités

Who doesn’t love a mix of fresh vegetables? Crudités make the perfect winter dish for that reason. Not only can the appetizer appeal to virtually anyone, but it comes with a plethora of highly vitamin-packed vegetables that you can personally pick and choose. If you want to put a twist on the classic appetizer, make your own tasty dip to pair with the refreshing produce. 

Festive Fruit Salad

While it might seem out of season, a festive and healthy fruit salad is sure to excite taste buds in the winter. Similar to the crudités, not only is this dish healthy, but you can bring it and eat it anywhere and anytime. The nourishing food makes a perfect option for a morning snack or a late-night dessert. Along with the fruit, don’t be afraid to add in extra ingredients that bring even more flavor to the salad like mint, basil, lavender or even cayenne pepper for a little heat. 

Seasonal Squash

Another versatile food, squash is the perfect vegetable to substitute in and out of almost every traditional meal. Typically harvested in the fall, the nutrient-packed acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, spaghetti squash and butternut squash are available for cooking your favorite dishes year-round. Some seasonal favorites include butternut squash mac and cheese, soup and casserole, stuffed acorn squash and roasted spaghetti squash with kale

Even with the sweet temptations that surround us throughout the holiday season, healthy options are never too far out of reach. Whether you’re serving food at home for yourself or preparing a dish to bring to a gathering, there are various methods we can each take to continue practicing conscious eating habits and living vibrantly.

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12.09.21 | Sage Advice

The Power of Music

There are many ways older adults can keep their minds sharp as they age, including scrapbooking, mentoring or even owning a pet. However, one of the most significant ways to actively exercise the brain is simply by listening to music. Many of us will play our favorite song or put background music on without any thought, but the melodic sounds have the power to stimulate our brains unlike anything else. 

Music and The Brain

If you’re seeking to retain your brain’s powerhouse abilities with age, John Hopkins Medicine affirms that listening to or playing music is an extremely powerful tool in doing so. What many don’t understand is that when we listen to music, mathematical puzzles are simultaneously being performed in our heads. With each note that passes through our ears, our brain toils to compute how it connects to each previous sound.

The unique tool can help assist in gathering memories that have felt lost in time. Sometimes a specific song will have the power to transport you to a specific moment in history; that’s because studies have discovered that music has the power to attract itself to memories, and with that, improve cognitive skills, and recognition and working memory. 

Engaging with music frequently has the ability to retrieve forgotten memories for older adults living with diseases contributing to memory loss and reduce anxiety, depression and pain in those who are battling other disabilities, like PTSD. 

The Intersection of Music and Medicine

Experts are continuously trying to understand where music fits in with medical treatment. Robert Gupta, violinist and social justice activist, has been a chameleon in both the music and medical industry nearly his whole life. Now, after realizing he can be involved in both of his passions, Gupta is finally understanding the sheer power music has in succeeding in areas where traditional western medicine isn’t able to reach, especially for vulnerable communities. Explore more in Gupta’s TED Talk here: 

 

Instilling Music in Your Life

Although the easiest way to integrate music into your life is by simply pressing play on your favorite album, there are numerous other ways you can reap its benefits at home and within your community. Attending concerts and musicals, in person or through a virtual environment like your television, are perfect ways to stimulate your brain while entertaining everyone in the room. 

While listening to music is just one of the ways you can engage with the effective tool, playing an instrument and singing produces even more marvel responses. Music groups are excellent ways to enjoy the sounds of music while also engaging with those around you in meaningful ways. They can be found anywhere from community-organized troops to the choir at your local church.

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11.18.21 | Sage Advice

How to Tackle the Winter Blues

Winter’s frigid months, when sunshine is scarce and snow piles accumulate, can be daunting, leaving many — particularly older adults — feeling as though stepping outside is a chore. At Sage Collective, we recognize the hardships that come with the long winter days and believe that with preparation, anyone can traverse the burdens of winter with relative ease. So, even as winter takes over in the upcoming months, you can meet the blues it might spawn, head-on. 

The simplest way to get through the seemingly never-ending winter months is by centering your focus on your wellbeing, introducing various self-care principles into your life and staying mindful of what makes you happy. 

Secure Nutrients

Nutrients are critical to thriving during winter, and while bleak, the outdoors produces several essential benefits. Natural light provides significant benefits to our bodies that we lack during winter, including vitamin D, which reduces the risk of heart disease and prevents bone loss, and produces mood boosters like serotonin and endorphins. While natural light can be easily accessible from windows, it’s even more beneficial to immerse yourself in the outdoors, and embrace the fresh air.

While you’re outside, a walk around your block or to the grocery store is also a great way to combat the winter blues. Frequent physical activity helps create a routine, and as your body moves, the hormones released by your body and vitamins you receive from the sun help stabilize emotions and build spirits. 

Because the outdoors can be such a brisk environment, having options to be active in indoor environments is a necessity. Programs like SilverSneakers make it easy for qualified older adults to go to gyms and participate in online or in person fitness classes at no cost. Around Bronzeville, gyms participating with SilverSneakers include La Fitness and Planet Fitness. Local YMCA’s are another great option for anyone searching to keep their fitness routine active in the winter.

Feed Your Soul

Nurturing your body certainly helps get through some aspects of winter, but your soul’s wellbeing is equally important. It’s essential to find bliss through activities and hobbies you’re passionate about during winter. Sit next to a warm fire and immerse yourself in a new book; tune into a podcast and explore new topics; put pen to paper and share your feelings in a journal, or document cherished memories in a scrapbook.

If you can, take a trip. Midwesterners know best that venturing to a different climate or part of the country can give you a real boost during the winter months. Whether you make it a road trip to Florida or take a plane to Cancún, vibrant sunlight and cloudless skies never disappoint. Weekend and day trips are another great way to feed the soul, especially considering Chicago’s perfect location for getaways that take you in virtually any direction. 

Most importantly, don’t shy away from spending some extra time with your family and friends during winter. Loved ones are the perfect remedy for the winter blues and often can kick us out of mental slumps. 

As the winter season approaches, start preparing for what lies ahead and armed with a good attitude and a toolkit for beating the winter blues, consider placing a spotlight on your wellbeing.

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11.04.21 | Sage Advice

Practicing Empathy: How it Can Create a More Vibrant World

Empathy is a universal tool for understanding. By definition, it’s a way of emotionally recognizing and validating what someone else is feeling. At Sage Collective, we approach all of our work with empathy, and believe that with practice, exhibiting empathy improves communication, heightens creativity and enhances appreciation.

What the Science Says

Empathy has always been an essential skill for communication and understanding. However, it’s more important now than ever, in light of the enormous levels of stress many confront today. Displaying empathy serves as an antidote for burnout and anxiety — producing beneficial effects on wellbeing and supporting positive social interactions for individuals and groups alike.

According to a recent study published by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, empathy in older adults may play a sizable role in shaping the regularity and types of support they exchange within social networks and the ramifications associated with the exchanges. The study concludes that empathetic older adults grant emotional and instrumental support more often than older adults who display less empathy. Furthermore, those who are more empathetic enjoy greater levels of emotional comfort from their networks and uphold more positive moods throughout the day, producing significant exchanges of care and more powerful controls over temperament. 

Practicing Empathy

Because empathy is a crucial element for collective support, everyone can benefit from improving their skills, whether practicing empathy comes naturally or must be learned. However, with time, an empathetic approach to all situations becomes instinctive. Here are three kinds of empathy that a person may encounter and should strive to understand:

Cognitive empathy consists of putting yourself in someone else’s situation to try and
comprehend what they might be going through at that moment. Even if it involves
something unfamiliar, the effort of understanding can transform anyone’s perspective. 

Somatic empathy requires the ability to experience someone else’s feelings. It usually
includes physical reactions to situations like feeling sick, sweating or blushing.

Active listening is a large part of being empathetic, but taking action and giving appropriate feedback takes the skill a step further. Affective empathy entails understanding the emotion someone else is feeling and answering accordingly. The awareness establishes personal connections and leads to a more profound concern for others’ feelings. 

As more and more people recognize the power of using empathetic techniques, a mutual understanding and compassion will blossom, empowering our communities to become more vibrant and rich in emotional support.

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10.26.21 | Sage Advice

Revolutionizing Bronzeville and the Construction World: A Conversation with Shevaz Freeman

As renovations continue at our 4108 and 4112 S King Drive properties located in the heart of Bronzeville, we sat down with the owner of Urban Intention Design and Build and general contractor for our project, Shevaz Freeman, to discuss her experiences in the world of construction and the progress of the projects. 

Urban Intention Design and Build is a Black woman-owned-and-operated company, which is rare in the general contractor domain. Tell us about your experience in the industry, and what has led you to where you are today. 

Running my own contracting company, Urban Intention Design and Build, as an African American woman absolutely comes with its struggles, but every experience I’ve had — good and bad — has led me to where I am today. Simple things like respect and recognition can be difficult to attain at times, and because of my gender, I have to maneuver within the environment with a whole different perspective. However, because of my significant experience in the field, I’ve discovered how best to navigate challenges I may encounter to my advantage. 

I’ve picked up numerous techniques and approaches that give me a leg up because I feel like I’ve had to work harder than a lot of other people in my field to get where I am. I’ve trained myself to have heightened attention to detail. Sometimes, contractors don’t have the “big picture” in mind and don’t fully pay attention to the endless little things happening on a project. Because I’ve been doing this for over ten years, I find it extremely easy to fully envision the outcome of every project from day one, which is a significant skill in contracting.

What does your role as General Contractor for Sage Collective Properties’ King Drive project involve? 

As the General Contractor for the King Drive projects, it’s my job to oversee and run almost everything. I am responsible for managing budgets, directing on-site subcontractors and conducting meetings with the Sage Collective Properties’ team. However, at the end of the day, my most important job is to make sure that the client gets what they envisioned at the beginning of the process. 

Who are the others who are involved in the renovation of these King Drive buildings, and how does your role fit in? How do you view the nature and value of the relationships you have been able to build with other professionals on this job?

Throughout the renovation, numerous people will walk in and out of the properties. Two people I’ve worked very closely with over the past few months are the Owner’s Rep and experienced General Contractor, Ernest Brown, and the Architect, Gregory Williams. Mr. Brown has provided me with incredible guidance and oversight throughout the project, and his rich expertise in the field has been remarkably beneficial and essential to our process. 

Overall, I’ve unquestionably developed relationships on this job that I believe will continue to provide immense value in the future. It’s so important in jobs like this that each party involved feels like they are valued as part of a larger team, and that is a feeling that is certainly present here. No matter who I am talking to daily, everyone understands that their role is essential for the project’s success.

Explain to us how you see Sage Collective’s vision of having “vibrant, high-quality, affordable living for older adults” come to life in the residences you are currently helping them rehab?

I originally went to school for interior design, so because of that training and the fact that I’m such a visual person, I’ve been able to envision Sage Collective’s concept since the project’s very early stages. As soon as I was introduced to the vision for “vibrant, high-quality, affordable living” and walked through the properties, there was no question that it was achievable, and day by day, I’m witness to its progress. 

Since we strive to make sure that every element is constructed with thought and care, the process behind bringing the vision to life is very meticulous. We discuss everything from the sizing of doors to the proportion of the showers to the type of lighting assembled in each room to make sure we specifically address the needs of older adults. All details throughout the process are constantly brought into question to ensure perfection. 

Do you think that there is enough emphasis by the government or social service organizations on meeting the need for affordable housing in this community? If so, please give other examples. If not, why not?

The need for affordable housing, especially in neighborhoods like Bronzeville, has been ignored by the government for the longest time. However, I think more and more organizations are finally stepping up, and we are moving in the right direction. One of the initiatives putting money into communities like Bronzeville that have essentially been ignored by the city for years is Mayor Lightfoot’s INVEST South/West.

The wonderful thing is that the initiative has encouraged even more developers to invest in affordable housing construction like the upcoming 43 Green projects. Having been born and raised on the south side, seeing the amount of interest currently being poured into the communities holds a special place in my heart. But with that said, the progress is long overdue, and there is still a long way to go until affordable housing needs are met. 

How does your perspective as a contractor inform your view of the future of the availability of affordable housing in Chicago?

In 2021 material costs for almost all aspects of home building and renovation skyrocketed, and they continue to go up. The shift over the past year also means that low-income families aren’t making the extra money they need to afford market-rate housing, making affordable housing even more in demand than ever before. Generally, historic properties like Sage Collective Properties’ buildings in the Bronzeville community are selling for very high prices. Some have been renovated, but others have either been abandoned for years or have not been preserved due to the high expenses that come with the process. 

With time, everything deteriorates. So, without any help, it’s hard to keep these properties affordable for residents. The sad reality is that without continued help from the city, state or federal government — and investments from organizations like Sage Collective Properties  —  it’s going to be hard to keep developing affordable housing in these neighborhoods. 

Have there been unexpected or unique issues that you’ve been challenged with on this project?

The King Drive properties are mature buildings in a very historic area that have been neglected for a long time, so of course, there have been surprises that we’ve come across throughout the renovation. We’re discovering issues now that I’m sure didn’t even cross the mind of the previous owners because development is so different now than it was back when these buildings were built. One specific uncovering was the deterioration in some of the exterior bricks. We found small trees, weeds and other plants vibrantly growing in the actual spaces between the bricks, so we’ve had to uproot all of those. 

The one thing I will say is that it is a solid building and has very healthy bones. So, we can still put it back together with ease. Overall, I’m just so happy to see the phenomenal progress we’ve made so far and can’t wait to see the finished product. I’m also very appreciative that Sage has allowed me the opportunity to work on this project and be able to help them create something so wonderful, especially since I’m in my own community doing it!

Shevaz Freeman, General Contractor for Sage Collective Properties’ King Drive Projects & Owner of Urban Intention Design and Build
Shevaz Freeman, General Contractor for Sage Collective Properties’ King Drive Projects & Owner of Urban Intention Design and Build
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09.30.21 | Sage Advice

The Importance of Checking In

It’s easy to assume that someone may be happy just from the smile on their face. However, behind closed doors, many people are dealing with heightened feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. At Sage Collective, we believe that connection, engagement and shared relationships are vital to our health and well-being, as well as that of many other folks in our community. Checking in on friends, family and neighbors can be an effective way of looking out for one another and fostering those connections.  

Checking in on someone you haven’t seen in a while, who works remotely or who recently lost a loved one is a powerful gift. The simplest way of checking in is just asking how someone is doing. Reaching out can be done in person, through text, email or phone, and these small efforts can go a long way to show support and invite them to share more with you.

Words are meaningful, but in many circumstances, actions can be even more powerful. Delivering meals is a thoughtful way of checking in during difficult times or extending a hand to those who may have trouble accessing healthy foods. Whether it’s some of your own leftovers or cookies you’ve baked, your thoughtfulness will bring joy and comfort. Offering a form of mutual aid, a topic we talk more about here, is another inspirational way to foster engagement and check in on neighbors, since we know that extending aid to others by sharing knowledge and skills is a great way to develop ‘care webs’ — an element of mutual aid — in the community.

It’s essential that while checking in on those around you, you do not forget about yourself. It can be dangerous to ignore your physical and mental health while helping others. Valuable practices to utilize for checking in on yourself include asking yourself how you are feeling, meditating and taking advantage of other mindful habits that benefit your health and happiness.

Cropped shot of a cheerful elderly woman hugging her husband who's in a wheelchair at home during the day
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09.02.21 | Sage Advice

6 “superfoods” you can incorporate to boost your health

As we continue to change with age, eating healthy can be a vital step in caring for your future self. Taking inspiration from our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living, which you can read more about here, we compiled a list of our favorite “superfoods” you can easily introduce into your diet. These highly nutritious items can be added to a larger meal or snack to boost your health and help to achieve a balanced diet.

Tea

Not only is tea low in calories, it is also a refreshing alternative to coffee, soda and other beverages. Notably high in antioxidants, tea can be a tool for weight management and has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic (cancer-suppressing) benefits. One study suggested that the regular consumption of white and green teas resulted in a vast reduction of stress for most participants.

Avocados

Avocados are much more than the brunch staple or spread for toast that they’ve become over the last decade. As a great addition to a salad, guacamole or being eaten simply with a pinch of salt and pepper, avocados provide numerous health benefits. Rich in fiber and and healthy fats, avocados can be a great substitute for eggs, mayonnaise, sour cream and even butter.. 

Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine and culture for millennia. They are known to increase the health of the immune system through their many therapeutic properties. After much scientific research, we are learning more about the dramatic positive effects mushrooms can have on preventing cancer, lowering blood pressure and overall increasing well-being. You can incorporate mushrooms into your diet by cooking them along with other vegetables, adding them to salads and pasta or simply frying them with healthy oil. Some of the most popular mushrooms you should look out for at the farmer’s market or grocery store are Portabella, Shiitake, Buttons, Oyster, Enoki and Lion’s Mane. 

Dark Leafy Greens & Cruciferous Vegetables

There is a wide consensus among nutritionists that vibrant green vegetables and those in the cabbage family offer some of the best nutrients and vitamins. These include arugula, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, radishes and turnips. Most of these are full of zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber, and what seems like a never-ending list of enriching minerals that can reduce the chances of heart disease and diabetes while lowering blood pressure and preventing some cancers. 

Salmon

Salmon is both tasty and full of healthy protein, B vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Because of its abundance of rich nutrients, salmon has more health benefits compared to other animal products and is known to help prevent heart disease and diabetes. One way you can enjoy this hearty fish is by baking it with lemons, herbs and a healthy (oil, avocado or sesame).  

Garlic

Garlic packs a punch in flavor and delivers huge nutritional benefits, too. Each clove of garlic contains magnesium, vitamin C and fiber, which are all essential to a balanced diet. Research indicates its effectiveness to support the immune system while reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. One study even found that garlic provides antibacterial and antiviral characteristics. 

However you incorporate these superfoods into your meal planning and cooking regimen, they offer delicious and easy ways to boost your overall health and well-being.

A dinner plate contains salmon, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, and a mix of other vegetables and sauce.
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08.31.21 | Sage Advice

The art of meditation and how you can benefit from it

In today’s fast-paced society, rife with uncertainty and change, devoting time to self-care and introspection is more important than ever. At Sage Collective, we support and encourage participating in spiritual or religious experiences as part of our 9 Ways of Vibrant Living. Meditating can be one such practice, revealing a sense of discovery and heightened mindfulness. 

What is meditation?

Meditation is an ancient technique used by many for more than 3,500 years; historians have traced its utilization back to the formation of many world religions. The purpose of meditation is to help train oneself in practicing mindfulness while learning to better understand feelings and emotions to create a healthy perspective. 

Meditating can feel uncomfortable and challenging at first, since it uses techniques that may be unfamiliar. However, this ancient tradition can lead to immense personal growth and understanding for those who find their groove in the routine.

Health benefits

Research suggests that meditating can have enormous positive effects on managing symptoms of anxiety and depression and reducing stress. Other conditions that can benefit from meditation include chronic pain, insomnia, high blood pressure and IBS. And while experts have yet to completely understand how meditation works, research clearly demonstrates the holistic impact it has on one’s health and well-being.    

Tips for how to meditate 

  • Get comfortable. Find a place to sit upright with legs crossed instead of laying down, as it can be easy to find yourself falling asleep. However, comfort is key for meditation, so avoid positions that may prove uncomfortable after several minutes.
  • Keep a timer. It can be easy to worry about time as you start meditating; setting a timer for small increments of 5 to 10 minutes of meditation can be an easy way to avoid that. Scheduling a specific time of the day to meditate can also help with consistency — leading to more beneficial results. 
  • Focus on breathing. It can be an easy way to get into the flow of meditation. As you breathe, observe what it feels like as air enters your body and then leaves it. 
  • Be open-minded. As a new experience, it may be hard to empty your mind during meditation. Emotions and feelings that might be uncomfortable may arise, but don’t ignore them; acknowledge their presence and slowly bring your focus back to breathing. 
  • Don’t give up. It’s also important to remember that meditating takes time and practice to build as a habit, and expecting too much too fast can lead to disappointment. Hang in there, and discover just how much of a life-changer meditation can be!

There is no “right way” to meditate — it is a practice meant to be personalized for each individual and will feel different for everyone. For those looking to become more mindful, self-aware and gain better control over feelings such as anxiety and stress, meditation may be the technique for you. 

If the art of meditation interests you, check out the video below. The 10-minute tutorial guides beginners through their first meditation and is narrated by a mindfulness coach and teacher,  John Davisi.

 

A woman sits cross legged with her hands resting on the top of her legs – meditating.
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