Breathing is underrated.

Not all of us have the same privileges, luxuries, employee benefits or PTO – but most of us have the ability to take 10 minutes a day to tune everything out and just…breathe.

In the last few decades in which meditation has grown into the mainstream, various studies have offered insight into its ability to help with depression, anxiety and chronic pain. Other studies have shared that it could potentially reduce stress, and even lower blood pressure.

With everything that happens to and around us on a daily basis, it’s impossible to go through life and never experience agitation, anxiety, stress or other types of negative feelings. And I hate to say it, but negativity rarely stops at one person. It tends to spread, and those who come in contact with it also become affected. It has a debilitating effect, and at one point or another, most of us will eventually seek the peace or balance we feel our lives lack.

I started meditating in college. I was really into health and fitness, which led me to yoga and ultimately, introduced me to subjects like mindfulness and meditation. Back then, it was mostly just fun for me. I was intrigued by the different ways I could improve my mental and physical health. These days, I turn to these things to save me from feeling mentally and emotionally paralyzed.

For reasons I don’t know, it is easy to succumb to negativity and allow it to affect me and my productivity. In addition, my tendency over-think the future makes me feel anxious. I think of results falling short, all the things that won’t go as planned, everything I should be doing, all the things I should have.

Sometimes, it seems inevitable to find myself feeling stuck. Fortunately, I’ve learned that just because I don’t have the answers, it doesn’t mean I won’t find them – and after taking a step back and breathing, I usually do.

Meditation is my time to sit and just “be.” It allows me to breathe and focus, to be fully present and fully aware. It is my time to not only be accepting of where I am, but be grateful for where I am. With every breath, I am able to embrace the present moment and set intentions for my actions moving forward.

At the start of this year, I set an intention to meditate every morning, and the benefits of beginning my days with a peaceful, centered mindset remain unmatched.

Like many things associated with health and wellness, meditation doesn’t come easy for everyone. Like exercising, whenever I go an extended time without practicing, I find it difficult to get through a short session and feel good afterward. Just know that reaping the benefits of meditation takes time, but taking the time is worth it.

As always, I love hearing from you and creating dialogue. Feel free to leave me a comment and share.

For more on meditation, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @tiffyhop.