Meditation

Today's cleanse tip is brought to you by Dr. Jen!

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Meditation is a technique that has been used for thousands of years and its effectiveness has now been proven by an impressive stack of research. And yet, when I tell my patients that meditation can provide extensive health benefits I often get the same responses: 'I don't have time', 'I can't quiet my mind', 'It's too hard to stay still'. 

Interestingly, these are the exact reasons I have prescribed a dose of meditation in their otherwise busy lives. 
 
Taking the time to sit still, take a few deep breaths and focus on how we feel can have wonderful health benefits. I have seen this practice drastically improve the wellbeing of my patients.  In fact, we now know that meditation doesn't just help us feel calm, it actually changes the structure of the grey matter in our brains and reduces our stress response, protecting us from future stress.
 
Not to worry if you're short on time or struggle to quiet the busy chatter in your brain.

Meditation takes practice and can be started in very small doses.  You can begin by taking five deep, slow breaths as you transition between the parts of your day, reducing that busy feeling we often consider 'normal'.  You can also try a meditation app like Headspace or Insight Timer that provide lots of options for short, guided practice.

For me, a few quiet minutes before I pick up my kids, start a busy day at the office or sit down to answer emails helps me stay present and connected with the people and experiences I am giving my time to and makes a world of difference in my wellbeing.

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