Author: Christina Bach, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW
Content Contributor: Allyson Distel, MPH and Katherine Okonak, MSW, LSW
Last Reviewed: November 27, 2023

What is meditation?

Meditation is a practice that is used to help calm your mind and improve your well-being. It is often used as an integrative or complementary therapy along with medical treatment. It can help with anxiety, stress, and other symptoms. Meditation is an Eastern tradition but has become more common in the United States.

How is meditation practiced?

There are many ways to meditate and each person can have their own way of doing it. It can be done in many places like work, home, and in the hospital. A good goal is to meditate for 20 minutes a day, but any amount of meditation can help.

These are the steps to meditate:

  • Find a quiet spot to sit.
  • Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  • You can close your eyes.
  • Breathe like normal and notice your breath.
  • You could use a mantra (phrase or word that you repeat to yourself to help you focus such as "om" or “I am here”).
  • Slowly relax all the muscles in your body.
  • Your mind may wander, but use your mantra or your breath to bring you back to the present moment.

You can also use guided meditation if you find it hard to sit in silence. During guided meditation, someone else will lead you through a meditation. There are free resources on YouTube as well as through apps like InsightTimer and Calm.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation can help to:

  • Lower your resting heart rate.
  • Help you relax.
  • Improve your sleep.
  • Become more aware of your thoughts.
  • Better manage your emotions.
  • Increase patience and self-awareness.

You can find information on meditation online or in your local bookstore or library. Meditation is safe and relaxing with many potential benefits.

Mayo Clinic Staff (2022). Meditation: a simple, fast way to reduce stress. Mayo Clinic.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Staff (2022). Meditation and Mindfulness: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Related Blog Posts

April 19, 2023

Happy Occupational Therapy Month

by OncoLink Team