Happy New Year! 2018 will be a fabulous year for us all! It is hard not to get excited about a new day, a new event, a new idea.

With the hectic holiday season behind us, we can focus on ourselves and in starting the new year feeling at peace inside and out. One very effective way to center ourselves and bring us into balance is to sit still and breathe. A meditation technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction has been known to reduce loneliness and even chronic inflammation. In a study, the mindfulness technique encouraged participants not to dwell in the past or in the future, but be attentive to the present. Study participants meditated for approximately 30 minutes a day. This research was published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.

In my experience, even ten minutes a day of quiet and breathing is enough to give benefit. I used to worry that I was not “meditating” correctly or breathing right. I would have all these thoughts come in and out of my head when I was trying to just “be.” So I let the thoughts come and go and just focused on the breathing. I have found that simply breathing can be calming and soothing. We normally do not breathe as deeply as we should or use a breath to help us become more serene. Now that we know the added benefits of meditation, breathing and being aware and in the present, I hope we can focus on this for the new year so we can remain strong, mindful and positive. So let’s please breathe deeply, laugh frequently and love unconditionally this 2018!

Thank you and have a great year!

CC DeGraff headshot

CC DeGraff