• Jordan Dunin

Meditation. It’s not a gimmick. (and why you should start ASAP)

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

Meditation. It’s not a gimmick. (and why you should start ASAP)

Meditation isn’t wasting time, it is saving time. It is scientifically proven that just 5 minutes out of your day can help you to alleviate stress, reduce pain, and become more productive. And, it’s SO simple.

Forget the dim lights, dark rooms, robes, and chanting (for now) and bring your focus to your breath. Breathing is something that you do all day, every day, but you don’t notice it. What may surprise you is that we all are already meditating, we just don’t know it. Once you bring your focus to your breath, you are entering into the present moment and voila meditating. The art of meditation is to stay in the present moment. The exact second your focus leaves your breath, you have left the present. We all have an infinite amount of thoughts coming and going through our heads at all hours of the day. The key during your meditation practice is to notice when you become lost in thought, and bring your focus back to your breath. This may happen a dozen or more times, but with practice you will be able to stay in the present longer.

A Harvard study led by Sara Lazar in 2011 was able to show that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain. Meditation was shown to increase the cortical thickness in the hippocampus which governs learning and memory. Additionally, meditation was shown to decrease the cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. Basically consistent meditation can make you smarter, but it can also reduce anxiety.

Why Should You Meditate?

We live in a world that is anxious, tense, worried, scared, and often angry. Everybody is in a rush even though we typically do the same things day after day. By becoming present and focusing on your breath to start, you will gain a new perspective on stressful situations. This will allow you to begin building skills to manage your stress and increase your self awareness. This will in turn boost your creativity and imagination allowing you to excel at work, sports, recovering from illness, and much more.

In addition to lowering stress, a study from 2013 shows that meditation can also lead to lead to better concentration and attention. For athletes, meditation can improve awareness and motor function leading to better overall performance. Additionally, meditation helps to rid people of “the wandering mind,” which helps athletes stay focused during training and during high stress situations.

How to Easily Get Started:


While over time you will build into longer and deeper meditations, there is no time like the present to start focusing on the present. Start with one minute a day, focusing on your breathing and noticing when you are getting side tracked by your thoughts. Keep coming back to focusing on your breathing when you notice that you are wandering and become an observer. No need to do anything other than observe what is already happening. Find out how deep your natural breathing is by counting the seconds for each natural breath. Become in awe of how the body naturally breathes for you. All while staying focused on each inhale and exhale.


Once you become comfortable focusing on your breathing, you can start adding sounds or words to your practice. A mantra is simply a word or sound repeated to aid in your concentration during meditation. While focusing on your breathing you can pick a word or a sound to say on each inhale and exhale. Or, you can go with the classic, “Om.” This will deepen your focus into the meditation and allow you to remain present longer. You will know when you are drifting out of your meditative state because you will no longer be saying your mantra.

Guided Meditation

This is the most common practice for beginners, but there is more room for you to drift away from the present. Although there are pro’s and con’s to every type of meditation, this is by far the easiest for a particular situation. You can search YouTube for thousands of meditations for anything you wish. For example, searching “stress meditation,” and picking from the generous amount of free options can help you with instant relief of your stressors. Additionally, a search for “focus meditation,” and selection one of the available options can help you be ready for your upcoming presentation.

Meditation is not a gimmick and it millions of people globally are already reaping the benefits it has to offer. Why wait? See what taking one minute out of your day to become present can do for you.

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