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Find peace and reduce stress through meditation

What if there was a way to be more productive, reduce stress, and protect against memory loss?

What is there was a way for you to be calmer, more compassionate, and more content?

What if I told you that the way to achieve all this was totally free, not a drug, and readily available to you whenever you wanted?

It’s true – such a thing exists. It’s a practice called meditation. It has been used for centuries, but experts are now delving into research that proves how valuable and beneficial it can be for anyone.

Meditation and mindfulness are closely linked practices. Mindfulness is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique, while meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Meditation is not necessarily spiritual or religious. It shares a very long history with religion and offers an important spiritual component for many practitioners. But anyone can meditate, regardless of creed.

Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools for coping with stress and anxiety. Meditation has been proven to help those struggling with mental illness and addiction. According to a study released by the Canadian Center for Mental Health and Addiction, mindfulness-based meditation can “provide equivalent protection against depressive relapse as traditional antidepressant medication.” Mindfulness and meditation change the way our bodies respond to stress, and the practice has proven to be very effective in treating mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. But it’s also an incredible way to be more productive, calmer, and more focused on everyday tasks.

Join us at our Crystal Ridge Branch at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 for ‘Learn to Meditate.’  Certified life-coach Lori Brant will explain how to approach meditation, answer any questions you might have, and lead you through a guided meditation.

If you can’t make it to the program and would like to learn more about it, there are lots of ways to get started. You can try downloading Headspace, a free app for your phone or tablet, that will lead you through guided meditations. For those that prefer CDs, we have an audiobook full of guided meditations as well:

Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life & Exercises And Meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn

I’d also recommend checking out the following books, all available at the library:

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body by Daniel Goleman

Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple by Russell Simmons

Laura Trabucco is the Community Engagement Librarian at Fort Erie Public Library.

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